Sick Of It All
Based on a True Story
20 April 2010
by Tomas Doyle
Quick! Name a New York hardcore band!
Ok, so some of you will have gone for Madball and if you were trying to be really clever you might have plumped with Gorilla Biscuits or Bad Brains but im willing to bet that a lot of you were shouting SICK OF IT ALL!!!!!!! at your screens, and fucking rightly so.
To put this thing into perspective, Sick of it All formed the year I was born (!) and this is their ninth studio album (which is to ignore their brilliant Live in a Dive album from 2002). Their roadies are themselves in seminal bands like H20 and Ensign, and you only need look at who contributed to a recent tribute album to the band (Unearth, Walls of Jericho, Rise Against) to realise just how well respected SOIA are in diverse metal, punk and hardcore circles.
So what does Based on a True Story sound like then? Well to be honest, if you’ve heard Sick of It All before then you already know the answer to this question! Arguably this record has a more metallic feel but than previous efforts with Pete Koller’s guitar lines chunky and crunching, with more emphasis on groove than out and out speed, meanwhile Lou Koller’s vocals remain as they ever were, anthemic, distinct and as fimilar as an old friend. Sick of it All have more or less remained true to their sound; no-nonsense hardcore designed to ignite moshpits from Warsaw to Winnipeg, Melbourne to Minneapolis. And whilst it would be easy to accuse the band of pushing no envelopes within their musical cannon this record is probably as a pure a distillation of the bands sound as we have seen for a fair while. It’s all here: finger pointing singalongs, two-step break downs and a focussed stripped down approach – if it aint broke, why the hell try and fix it?
Watch the video to ‘Death or Jail’ by Sick Of It All:
Opener ‘Death or Jail’ is a powerful statement of intent for a band entering its fourth decade and the ferocity and urgency dont let up until the very end. Indeed not one of the tracks here break the 3 minute mark and the intensity of Based on a True Story easily lives up to the standards reached on previous Sick of It All albums – no mean feat if you listen to their back catalogue.
In a time when hardcore is so dogged by fashionista nonsense, it is refreshing to see a band showing that they still do it the old fashioned way with as much conviction as they ever had, unimpaired by any agenda other than making raging, uncompromising music. They remain a crucial touchstone for innumerable young bands and Based on a True Story ably demonstrates why they are regarded as such legends within the scene.
Sounds Like: er.. Sick of it All
Top Tracks: The Divide, Dominated, Long as She’s Standing.
Sick Of It All – Based on a True Story tracklisting:
Death Or Jail
A Month Of Sundays
Bent Outta Shape
Lowest Common Denominator
Watch It Burn
Waiting For The Day
As Long As She’s Standing