I’m not going to lie, ska music has never really been my bag. That’s not to say there aren’t great songs in the genre, but it’s always been a genre that’s never appealed to me greatly, so I’ve left it relatively undiscovered. Of course, this may sound like I’m discounting it without having heard a vast majority of it, and sadly, I will say that’s true. But as I go on and try to discover more music, ska included, I find myself more and more unable to enjoy it as many others do.
However, I do find myself able to make the exception when it comes to bands who play within the ska punk genre. I’m talking bands like No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, Rancid, et al. One of these notable exceptions in my mind is The Suicide Machines.
Like most people who weren’t able to make their way over to Detroit for a basement show by The Suicide Machines, I discovered the group by way of the first Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game. I won’t lie, when I played the first game in the series as an 8 year old, the soundtrack didn’t really stick with me too much. Maybe it was my exposure to ‘classic rock’ growing up, or my enjoyment of a lot of current pop music, but the soundtrack sort of passed me by. It wasn’t until I enjoyed the second installment’s soundtrack that I was able to go back and appreciate the first’s for what it was.
‘New Girl’ is, as you’d expect, a song about a guy who has had his heart broken, thus, he is now excited to show off is new girl to everyone, including his ex-girlfriend. It’s not exactly deep, but in my mind, its the intensity of the performance that sells it completely. In only two minutes, we’re able to witness the searing intensity of the group and the way they make music. All packaged within the confines of this short punk song, ‘New Girl’ is the epitome of hardcore ska punk, and has kept a place in my heart for close to two decades now.