In case you weren’t certain where Sick Of It All hailed from or what type of music the band performs, they are happy to clarify. On the fourth track of the band’s latest album, Based On A True Story, lead singer Lou Koller leads the chant of “New York… Hardcore…!” Hardcore rock is definitely what Sick Of It All is all about.
Based On A True Story is the band’s first album in over four years. The band has been making hardcore rock and roll to the delight of their fans since 1986. Formed by Koller and his brother, guitarist Pete Koller, Sick Of It All exploded onto the hardcore scene in the mid-eighties and quickly rose the ranks to become one of the best known hardcore bands in existence.
While the opening tracks on Based On A True Story are only slightly above average, it’s the third song on the disc, “Dominated”, that really brings the record to life. Starting with a ripping beat and complimented with snarling, seething vocals by Lou Koller, “Dominated” is pure energy packed into just over 2 minutes of music.
“A Month Of Sundays” continues the greatness that “Dominated” started, with another hard rocking, kick in the ass song that will find you needing to jump around and scream for no apparent reason. A shout out to the early days of performing matinee gigs at CBGBs on Sunday afternoons, “A Month Of Sundays” re-lives the beginnings of the hardcore scene in New York City. The song references name drops of the Bowery, New York City, and a shout out to their future worldwide dominance. The references are made with style, as Sick Of It All remembers where they came from and where they were headed.
Toward the end of the album, the songs only get better. The second to last track, “Nobody Rules”, is the second to best track on the record. The music, especially the drums, is once again loud, proud, and fantastically hard. The chant of “Nobody Rules” sticks in your head and doesn’t go anywhere for a long time. It’s easy to hit repeat on this track several times, but don’t hit it too often. If you do, you’re apt to miss the best song on the record.
It’s rare that a band saves their best work for last. However, that is exactly what Sick Of It All has done on Based On A True Story. “Dirty Money” could be one of the best hard rock songs I’ve ever heard. With a beat that can only be described as intense speed, “Dirty Money” is an anthem to the evils of monetary desire. Between the groove of the music and the message in the lyrics, “Dirty Money” makes you think. And as with most great song that makes you think, you realize how magnificent music can be. “Dirty Money” is the strongest track on Based On A True Story and it leaves the listener wanting more.
Filled with thrash sounds that will leave your insides vibrating as you try to stop yourself from moshing in your living room, Based On A True Story is a hard and heavy album. While it contains moments of brilliance with certain songs, Based On A True Story suffers from similarity disease. Too many songs sound identical and at times it can be hard to determine where one song ended and the next began. Overall, this is an enjoyable record for its hard beats and raw power. However, Based On A True Story falls short of being a masterpiece.
Notable Tracks: Dominated, Nobody Rules, Dirty Money
- Death Or Jail
- The Divide
- A Month Of Sundays
- Bent Outta Shape
- Lowest Common Denominator
- Good Cop
- Watch It Burn
- Waiting For The Day
- Long As She’s Standing
- Nobody Rules
- Dirty Money
Sick Of It All Is:
Lou Koller – Vocals
Pete Koller – Guitar
Craig Setari – Bass
Armand Maijdi – Drums