Sick Of It All
31 October 2011
by Alex Andrews
This is a strange one. To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Sick Of It All have decided to compile 20 career-spanning “hits” together on one disk. Only the New York hardcore veterans have gone back and re-recorded them all with the benefits of modern technology and a Danish metal producer behind the helm. Stranger still is that the band’s 1997 classic ‘Good Looking Out’ fails to make the cut whilst ‘Step Down’ – quite clearly the band’s finest moment, as anyone who remembers the P-Rock TV channel will testify – suffers from the same fate.
25 years is a long time for a band, but for a hardcore band, it feels like a lifetime. If you’ve witnessed the band drag their road-weathered souls onto a stage at any point in the last decade, you may have noticed that their strongest suit – besides their ability to connect with an audience – is in the number of strings they have to their bow. Take ‘Scratch The Surface’ – beyond Lou Koller’s unmistakable holler, its chugging verses and heavy groove are of a very different flavour to the Slayer-like thrash of ‘Injustice System!’ And it’s quite amazing that they can then write something as melodic as ‘Sanctuary’.
Watch an “album trailer” for Nonstop by Sick Of It All:
Still, you can’t help but wonder how this could have turned out had it been released through a different record label. Perhaps we’d have heard more of those melodic life-affirming moments that make you want to punch a wall if this had came out on Revelation or Fat Wreck Chords – both of whom the band have worked with in the past. We can only make a guess towards the role that Century Media played in shaping this record, but judging from the track listing and choice of producer, it feels as though it was made with the metal kids in mind.
Sounds like: Agnostic Front, Hatebreed, H20
Top tracks: Us vs. Them, Sanctuary, Built To Last