So, I honestly never really heard of Sick Of It All before this record, ‘Based on a True Story’. From what I’ve read, they’ve been around since 1986, have been a huge influence on the punk and hardcore scenes and ‘Based on a True Story’ is their 9th studio album. I’ll say this, just reading that has me impressed: Few bands hold on for that long. So, having read up on Sick Of It All a bit, I jumped headfirst into ‘Based on a True Story’.
The description of the band is 100% accurate: these guys are definitely a mix of punk and hardcore and there is no shame about it. These songs are in and out, no BS, hit you in the face material. I started playing this as I began my daily workout and this music was a definite assist. The boundless, unbridled energy of these songs got me pumped up and ready for each exercise. But anyways, on to the review, shall we?
The album starts off with the more hardcore-inspired ‘Death or Jail’. It’s a song that inspires SOME kind of body movement, be it tapping your foot or headbanging like a crazy person, something is bound to move. The production is crisp and thick. Each instrument sounds huge and hits hard an the vocals are clear. The bass drum is also one of the most satisfying bass drum sounds I’ve heard on a record in a while. It has a great solid thump but feels very natural. At 2:51, it’s also the second longest song on the album, which should tell you how ‘to-the-point’ these songs are.
The production is continuously strong throughout the album even as the band shifts from a more hardcore sound in the beginning to a stronger punk influence as the songs progress.
With 14 songs (albeit ‘Braveheart’ is more of an intro than a song) that total up to just over 33 minutes, ‘Based on a True Story’ is a solid sounding, great album that’s perfect for pumping you up. Admittedly, some of the songs are forgettable once the album ends, but during the listen you’ll have a lot of fun.
4 out of 5 skulls.