Being in a Hardcore band it has to be hard to re-imagine your sound especially after close to 30 years. . there is no reinventing Hardcore music. Sick of It All however, while not reinventing the genre, has remained consistent in their brooding sound from album to album. Coming from the New York Hardcore scene out of Queen’s, NY the band has been working with relatively the same lineup since its inception in 1986. Thats pretty impressive this day in age especially when you consider some of the bands they grew up playing with aren’t doing much these days (Original or revamped lineup). The Koeller brothers Lou (Vox) and Pete (Guitar, backing vox) are still going strong as the founding members of the group accompanied by Craig Setari on Bass, backing vox and Armand Majidi on the Drums.
The band has recruited Producer Tue Masden (Heaven Shall Burn, The Haunted) to work on the album with them. The great thing about Tue is that he doesn’t let you hold back, he brings out the hate in you! Upon first listen you can tell that they have picked up right where they left off with 2011’s ‘Non-Stop’. Moving at full force kicking off the album with “Sound The Alarm” Lou and crew seem to be full of rage, as this 14 track album lasts no longer than 31 minutes! I love when bands use a bassist predominantly in their songs and such is the case, Craig has some pretty strong parts through out the album including the intro to one of my personal favorites, “Losing War”.
I have never been a huge Hardcore fan, just in the fact that from band to band. . sure you have different vocalists with different backgrounds and vocal styles, but sooner or later it all starts to blend together. Sick of It All have realized this, and well this album mostly sounds like any of their previous albums, but they have found an equation that works for them and in this album its no different. One thing I have enjoyed while listening is the gang chants and occasionally they delve into a full on punk song. Check out the song Beltway Gateway when you get this album. This one stuck out to me and well aside from a few random songs through out kept me wanting to hear more. And thats what Sick of It All has done that most other bands in the genre have failed to do, they change it up just enough to keep your interest. If they hadn’t done so this album would be set aside and forgotten, however and just in listening to closing track ‘DNC’ that’s full of gang changs, I can tell that this band is not going to give up and am excited to see what they might have in store for us in the future.
Some personal favorites of the album include ‘Facing the Abyss’, ‘Losing War’, ‘DNC’, ‘Road Less Travelled’ and opening track ‘Sound The Alarm’. Its great the album starts out as this brooding force of anger and hate, then you get to the end and its like the war is over and all you and your friends are singing along to ‘DNC’, a song that is sure to be a great one live (picturing them pulling fans up on stage to sing this with them).
RIYL – Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Terror