Released: 2010, Century Media
Proving that class is timeless, New York’s premier bruisers, Sick of it All, will undoubtedly go down in hardcore legend as the go-to crew for delivering consistent quality. Their live performances remain the benchmark for any and all of their peers, while few could honestly and reasonably accuse them of ever dropping a clanger in the studio. That's hardly bad going for a band whose career is clawing its way toward a third full decade; more impressive still when you consider the sizable contingent of longtime acolytes who praised their previous record, 2006's DEATH TO TYRANTS, as their best.
If you found yourself in that camp, then BASED ON A TRUE STORY is going to be one of the highlights of your year. Refining the already sturdy formula of its predecessor, it hits hard, aggressive and deadly on each one of its fourteen tracks. For starters there's the urgent war-cry of "Death or Jail", complimented perfectly by the pit-fodder par excellence of "Dominated". Elsewhere, the boys rustle up an energized Oi!-style singalong on "A Month of Sundays", a theme they revisit with equal aplomb on "Good Cop".
Saving the best for last, "Dirty Money" epitomizes everything that's great about Sick of it All and underlines just how important and relevant they remain in 2010. True, hardcore may have gone from being a revolutionary voice to the anthem for a legion of snot-nosed Hot Topic shoppers, but BASED ON A TRUE STORY flies its old school colors loudly and proudly. Indeed, the undisputed heavyweight champs are back and there's very few who on the basis of what they've done here, who could ever dethrone them.