Fuel for the Machine
The Bitter End

Fuel For The Machine

The Bitter End - Fuel for the Machine


"I’ve never seen such a discrepancy between recording and release date as that on The Bitter End’s Fuel For The Machine. Originally recorded in July 2007, the album only saw the light of day in June 2010. Now I know there’s probably some sort of back story here - hard times, priorities, or some other reasonable explanation - but that doesn’t detract from the fact that for three years The Bitter End deprived the world of some rather kick ass melodic punk rock. And for the following reasons, that’s a shame.

The Atlanta based four-piece plays an aggressive style of political punk that fans of razor sharp punk rock with strained, stringent vocals, should greet with open arms. Likely too old school for the likes of No Idea Records, and a little too sloppy for the contemporary Fat Wreck Chords family, Fuel For The Machine they feel right at home amidst on the very DIY Stik Man Records.

Featuring dual guitarists Hardluck Jay and Sam Griffin, Fuel For The Machine boasts a brawny punch that hits listeners with enough force to leave them reeling well after the last note fades. ‘Accelerate’ lands the first blow, first warning listeners to ‘prepare [themselves]’, before laying down the auditory battering that follows. Drums smash with little fatigue, matched only by Hardluck’s political mindedness, and slowing only to build a sense of heightened alertness, they launch headlong into a satisfying conclusion that unwinds in the form of a metallic bridge. It’s enough to leave listeners gasping for air in only one track.

For those surviving the preliminary, they should be satisfied knowing that for the rest of the disc they can expect the same level of passionate, uncensored aggression. Each track maintains similar tempos and tricks, and while the disc certainly features an overarching sound, repetition isn’t a word that comes to mind. Tracks like ‘Simply Surviving’, ‘Drink ’Em Down’, and ‘Jerk’, contain discernable hooks that clearly define one from the other. For example, ‘Jerk’s’ vivacious moments bolster the melodic pull of ‘Simply Surviving’.

If there’s any fault to be had, it’s in The Bitter End’s rather blanket societal condemnation. Most listeners will have heard much of this sentiment before - Pennywise being the obvious example - although there’s certainly no less passion of or articulation. However, I couldn’t help but think that some concrete examples - maybe a story or two? - in addition to many of their accusations could bolster their agenda and connect with listeners on a more personal level - but this is something that comes with time…

Words of warning though, for all of Fuel For The Machine’s rampant energy, it’s an exhausting listen. With very little downtime, The Bitter End barely gives room to breath, and might leave some listeners winded. But for those who don’t mind upping their pulse, following along should also serve an invigorating and ultimately rewarding experience. Too bad we couldn’t have tuned in sooner."   -Cole Faulkner (ThePunkSite.com)

1: My Heart Is Dead    
2: Accelerate    
3: Good Citizen    
4: The States Domain    
5: Simply Surviving    
6: Drink ’em Down    
7: In Your Head    
8: Bleed For You    
9: Jerk    
10: A Dead Man’s Lullaby    
11: Fuel For The Machine    
12: Homeward Bound