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On record: Machine Response, by Career Suicide

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I'm a fan of guitar rock, which probably has to do with growing up listening almost exclusively to Van Halen, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. Well-played hardcore represents the zenith of guitar music. It's got riffs, of course, and all the elements that regular rock and punk have, but it's a style that, when played well, demands and rewards economy.

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Toronto hardcore band Career Suicide hasn't updated much about its blistering, full-tilt, pissed-off rock and roll since the band started in 2001, and that's what makes it appealing. The first time I heard them, I presumed they were some obscure 1980s hardcore band. A few years later I saw them play Austin's Chaos in Tejas festival, and they were among the most memorable of a great lineup that included a Universal Order of Armageddon reunion, Finns Kieltolaki and the Japanese band Kriegshog. They started around 1 a.m. and shredded for about 20 minutes, nonstop, with drunks falling into them, and they didn't miss a beat. Machine Response is Career Suicide's fourth LP, and it represents the band's aesthetic well. It's on par with all the band's previous albums, which is to say it's at the top of the hardcore heap.

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