Sound — 7
It's not strange for one to assume that New York hardcore forefathers Sick of it All would be running out of gas this late and deep into their impressive, conventional-wisdom defying career! While most of their peers from the 1980s have died off, broken up, moved on to different genres or faded into obscurity, Sick of it All are still soldiering on, making music that holds true and fast to the tenets on which the band was built. Based on a True Story is vintage Sick of it All: fast-paced, no frills hardcore, rife with moshable breakdowns, working class lyrics and a touch of Oi! sensibilities mixed in, in a subtle way, for good measure. Punk rock hardcore. That's what Sick of it All does best and they do it like they've always done it here. "Braveheart," "Bent Outta Shape" and "The Divide" are three-minute blasts that will generate enough dancefloor mayhem. While these aren't classics in the vein of "Maladjusted" or "Scratch the Surface" or "Clobberin' Time" or "Friends Like You," they are straightforwardly Sick of it All songs.
Lyrics — 8
Lou Koller delivers his lyrics, which often address regular guy issues with a societal bend to them, in his sing-talk-yell style, the one he's used since the dawn of Sick of it All. He may be getting older, but he still tosses off his words with the ardor of someone half his age. There's lots of communal chants dotting the album's landscape, so this is most definitely a record that will be enjoyed by the rowdy young ruffian throwing back a few pints at the pub, looking to let off a little steam without really looking for trouble.
Overall Impression — 7
Sick of it All will always be a relevant NYHC band because they've always stuck to their guns, put out music that sounds like Sick of it All and has something to say and they keep the hardcore torch burning, despite the changes, ebbs and flows that inevitably occur within the scene as it grows, changes and evolves. Sick of it All are one of the last bastions of straight ahead, New York City hardcore and while CBGBs may be closed and occupied by John Varvatos clothing and while John Joseph of the Cro-Mags is writing memoirs, Lou and guitarist Pete Koller, bassist Craig Setari and drummer Armand Majidi don't pay lip service to that old HxCx adage of "Keeping it real." They justkeep it real. Based on a True Story won't replace Blood, Sweat and No Tears n your heart, but you certainly can make room for this.