Punk and Hardcore fans the world over have been anticipating SICK OF IT ALL’s ninth studio album for the past four years, and with 2010’s “Based On A True Story,” their wait has ended in a flurry of gang shouts and circle pits.
Spanning a quarter century, the career of SICK OF IT ALL is an energy-fused ode to the landscape and attitude that stacks the alleys and avenues of the New York Hardcore lifestyle. If this volatile Queens-based quartet does any one thing well, it’s how they fluidly merge the aggression of Hardcore and the fun of no-frills Punk.
Crunchy, heavy, and relentless, “Based On A True Story” is much more Hardcore than it is Punk. Typical breakdowns and gravel-toned shouts march heavy and flatter the music without ever sounding too preachy, allowing the non-fans of Hardcore to listen without rolling their eyes.
Punk, however, remains a prevalent fixture. Frenetically paced, songs swing and speed in rapid succession with carnival ride enthusiasm – it looks and sounds dangerous as all hell, but you know it’s gonna be fun.
If “Based On A True Story” was any heavier, it would undoubtedly be labeled with the stigmatized tag of the Metalcore genre. And even if it was, SICK OF IT ALL are the four people least likely to give a fuck.
Honest, thrashy, and in-your-face, “Based On A True Story” is a righteous return to form for SICK OF IT ALL. Well-executed and sharply produced, each song carries punchy weight and melodic sensibility that evenly balances the catchy with the grimace.
“Death Or Jail,” “Good Cop,” and “Long As She’s Standing” are fiery proof.
(Online September 15, 2010)