One More Reason to Live

"It would be silly for me to think that I can change anything," Navarro admits. "But I'm trying. I think a lot of younger kids come to see what we're doing, and they read what we think and they get into what we're talking about, or whatever our lyrics are about, and it kind of brings them into the scene. They'll go in and start checking out other things, and as they grow older they'll become active politically. It makes them think, and that really needs to be done nowadays because a lot of music that's being played on the radio doesn't make people do that. They're happier not to think about what they're doing. Most songs on radio today are just pointless. I'd like to hear something that means something."

Perhaps something like "Hating Hate," in which Navarro emphatically shouts, "We must fight prejudice/Our nation's biggest sickness." Or "The divisions of society into two separate classes/There are those of us who work and we make up the masses/Slaving for the corporations raking in the profit/Someone's got to take a stand/Someone's got to stop it," his call to organize in the Pete Seeger-like "Strike." Or maybe "Keep your head, use your voice, speak your mind" from "DDT," a blustery condemnation of pollution and corporate greed.

Fortunately the Suicide Machines' sense of humor -- although more evident on Destruction than on the new album -- has not been extinguished by despair over the woes of the world. Navarro assures that, despite the serious bent of most of the 22 tracks on Battle Hymns, the four friends still know how to enjoy a good laugh and how to balance the weight of social statements with the jollity of being in a band. "We're just silly guys, plain and simple," he claims. "We get on-stage and we have a really good time. I take the things we say very seriously. But it's like good and evil: You can't have one without the other. You have to have some sort of happiness and fun going on or it just doesn't work."

The Suicide Machines perform Saturday, June 20, at 9:00 p.m. at the Button South, 100 Ansin Blvd, Hallandale; 954-454-3301. Tickets are $8.

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