Writhing, sneering, tight cornered "Machine Response" the only acceptable follow up to the blistering and landmark "Attempted Suicide." Nearly ten years of beating around the bush, casually playing around the world and drip releasing music along the way, Career Suicide is backed by their best lineup ever, ready to break back through themselves with this new full length. Machine Response veers in and out of pure speed, bursts of melody, and chunky tempo shifts, indenting the long standing influence of early 80s USHC, late 70s punk, and a peppering of 60s swagger, with their own clearly developed style. Dallas Good (Sadies, Andre Williams, John Doe, Half Japanese, Elevator and a million more) presents a magnificently essential 2nd guitar and lead presence; a screaming contribution by great friend and long time supporter of the band, Souichi Hisatake, (Forward, GISM, Insane Youth, Gudon etc) to crack your brain up; artwork in collaboration with Ryan Tong of S.H.I.T. and Toronto's life-giving Faith/Void; and a thundering recording, once again helmed by the decorated and limitless in his pursuit of smooth hearing loss, Jon Drew, provide the most damaging clarity Career Suicide have been able to capture to date. Includes album download code. Track listing: 1. Cut And Run 2. Break Away 3. Borrowed Time 4. Tighten The Screws 5. Total Neglect 6. Blank Expression 7. Distraction 8. No Walls, No Curtains 9. Suffocate 10. Taking You With Me 11. Point Of No Return
Our take: Career Suicide has long been one of my very favorite punk bands. I remember when I first heard their debut EP… it was a totally life-changing moment. While a slew of retro-styled bands would emerge over the next few years, Career Suicide were one of the very first, one of the most authentic, and certainly one of the best bands of the early 00s hardcore wave. What I responded to in particular was their emphasis on songwriting; lots of hardcore bands focus on heaviness or speed, but Career Suicide—on their best songs, at least—applied those traits to a classic pop formula. Over the years since their incredible last LP, Attempted Suicide, my tastes have drifted away from the retro USHC that Career Suicide helped to bring back, and subsequently I went into Machine Response wondering if I really needed a new Career Suicide record. Well, folks, it turns out I do, and you probably do too. I was skeptical that CS would be able to top Attempted Suicide, which not only had a consistently stronger level of songwriting than their previous releases, but also had the brilliant drumming of the late Brandon Ferrell to help put it over the top. However, top Attempted Suicide they do, delivering what is simultaneously their catchiest and most aggressive set of songs. Not only is the songwriting at least as strong as it was on Attempted Suicide (if not stronger), but Machine Response also finds Career Suicide taking a lot of really exciting risks. First of all, there’s “Blank Expression,” perhaps the best song on the record, which strikes a different tone than any CS song to date. It’s dense and dark guitar melody reminds me of Naked Raygun at their catchiest and most melancholic (tracks like “Treason” or “Vanilla Blue”), and it’s honestly a little bit emo, which is not something I ever thought I’d say about a Career Suicide song. The other unexpected wrinkle here is the lead guitar playing. Jonah has been a brilliant guitarist even longer than he’s been a great drummer, but the leads on Machine Response are just next-level… subtle and inventive, but still just as powerful as you expect and want them to be. Finally, I also want to point to the power of the ensemble playing on display here. The liner notes are a little unclear about whether or not it’s actually the new lineup playing on these recordings or not, but whoever is playing these instruments they sound absolutely great, as locked-in and in-the-pocket a hardcore punk record as you’ve ever heard, all the more remarkable because Career Suicide’s characteristic velocity hasn’t been diminished at all. Machine Response has been on constant rotation since it arrived, and I dare say that with a few months of repeated listens this could replace Attempted Suicide as my go-to CS record.