Surely, one band that needs little introduction, as Sick Of It All have been doing their thing now for nearly 30 years, spent most of that time at the top of their game and haven’t really changed their approach too much over the past three decades. The NYHC legends have just released their 11th studio album, “The Last Act Of Defiance,” and they show no sign of slowing down as their landmark anniversary approaches.
Opener ‘Sound The Alarm’ is exactly what you would expect, a sub two minute blast with plenty of gang vocals backing up the choruses. The next two tracks shake things up a little, with the band showing their slightly less hurried pace, and both tracks have a feel of ‘District’ from their 2000 album ‘Yours Truly’. ‘The Road Less Travelled’ was one of the preview tracks released a while before the album, lead by Craig Setari’s pummelling bass and featuring more gang vocals. Lyrically, the band show that being around for so long hasn’t dimmed their desire in the slightest, and they still show a passion that puts most bands to shame.
The second half of the album returns to a more old school sound, with ‘Never Back Down’ and ‘Act Your Age’ being short sharp blasts of pure NYHC fury as only Pete, Lou, Craig and Armand can do. It also features two sure-fire live favourites in ‘Beltway Gateway’ and ‘D.M.C.’ (the second preview track from the album) which features massive pit friendly sections along with plenty of opportunities for the crowd to get involved in the in a huge hardcore singalong.
Sick Of It All are a very rare breed of band, one that can produce album after album of quality material, without really venturing too far away from their main sound. A band that had a couple of line up changes early on, but this foursome has been together now for 22 years and it shows. Their longevity and stability and almost endless touring has created a bond with their fanbase as strong as any band in any scene, and this good feeling is repaid with a long succession of top drawer albums.
If you are in anyway a fan of hardcore, then any new SOIA release should come as an essential purchase, and this one is no different. Not many bands last anywhere near 30 years, and even fewer last a lmost as long at the top of their genre. If this is what they can do, then long may it last.