Monday, December 19, 2011

Sick of it All - Non Stop

As with any of Sick of it All's prior releases I met the news of a new record with a level of excitement reserved for few other bands. Having been a Hardcore fanatic since my early teens I followed the band from their very first demo to their first 7 inch and everything that followed. As much as I love many of the NYHC bands from that particular era, Sick of it All are in my mind both the ambassadors and kings of NYHC.

Just as my excitement reached the highest peaks, those feelings quickly faded when I heard the band was re-recording old classics as opposed to delivering new ones. The reworking, re-imagining classic tracks had me thinking of horrible choices that unlistenable bands like Asia and Emerson, Lake and Palmer would undertake. I debated for weeks as to whether or not to take the plunge, ultimately coming to the conclusion "It's Sick of it All." "There's no way they can mess this up."

"Non Stop" opens up with an updated version of "Clobbering Time" which welcomes back legendary rapper KRS-1 with his newly classic intro "Fresh for 2012 you bitches." Once Craig's Bass line introduces Lou's vicious growl "It's Clobberin' Time" even the most cynical ears are won over. The band rips through all the classics including "Clobberin' Time", "Injustice System", "US VS. Them", "World Full of Hate", "Pushed Too Far", "GI Joe Headstomp" and many other classics. All of the twenty-one songs featured are worth mention. Lou's vocals are venomous. Pete's guitar work adds chainsaw like results while Craig and Armand 's rhythms rage like dueling jackhammers.   I really felt a certain raw, live quality to this. It was as if the band were sitting with me in my living room, up close and in your face. Sick of it all haven't only updated these songs, they've thoroughly upgraded them. "Non Stop" closes with a spoken word by KRS-1 that will definitely have you thinking. Though I will always favor the original recordings I will surely check in with "Nonstop's" versions frequently. Fans of the band will definitely feel rewarded. The CD version includes a bonus DVD featuring the bands 2001 Documentary "The Story So Far" which  marks the first time it has been made available in DVD format. (As I listened to this record I couldn't help but think fondly of my old friend Gina "Last Daze" Lawson. She was a die hard
Sick of it All fan from day one. She would always refer to Lou and Pete motherly as  "Her Boys". Gina, wherever you may roam I hope it's with a twelve pack and a walkman blasting "It's Clobberin' time".")
James Damion

Buy it Here


  1. Thanks for the review, James. I probably wouldn't have considered this otherwise. Their 7"EP for me is still the highlight of their output.

    Mike BS

  2. I am a fan of the original 7" and first SOIA album, and I have always respected the band for continuing to produce new music over the past 20 years, however re-recording these classic tracks is the bands first step in the wrong direction in my opinion.Personally,I just can't imagine listening to these new versions of these songs.

  3. Dave, I had the same feelings going in with both the H2O tribute and especially with Sick of it All's decision to re-record those songs. The thought made me sick to my stomach. But from the moment that KRS-1 intro came in I was hooked, I never had any issues with Lou's voice on the early recordings but I recall an interview with him where he says he can't stand listening to early stuff because he hate the way he sounds. Maybe they're righting their own wrongs.

    I've always considered tribute and cover records an easy outlet for bands to make money while running out of fresh ideas but I think the band has more than earned the benefit of a doubt. This might not exactly a move forward but I would by no means consider it a step back.

  4. James I totally understand where you are coming from...however, the whole NYHC revival makes me sick to my stomach in all honestly. I mean when every old school NYHC band seems to be unnecessarily (in most cases) reforming and recording music and touring again I sort of looked at SOIA and respected them for doing it for all of these years and for never really falling back on what they did in the past, and now that can no longer be said.

  5. If they wanted to re-master for a greatest hits, but didn't own the original recordings, this would be a way around it. Although I probably wont listen to this very often, I back it. They wrote a lot of great material over the years and this is a good collection. Sorta more like a live record in the sense that this is how they play these songs now, I guess.

  6. Dave, one of the reasons I'm doing this blog is because I was so sick of the endless stream of reunions and trying to recapture the feelings and emotions that once seemed so sincere. "Remember that show in 1983" became the mantra for a lot of old men. I hated Hardcore for that reason alone. That's why I had no interest in doing Unite anymore. I didn't want to be attached to that. Listening to this album actually brought back some of that love. Tom, I'm glad you chimed in. I totally agree with you on the live vibe of the new recordings.

  7. They've been playing some of the re-recordings on the Black N' Blue Takeover. I was skeptical at first but I have to say that everything I've heard totally holds up. Just Look Around sounds just as raw as it did 20 years ago, and the new version of Clobberin' time is pretty sick. I was stoked to hear KRS-ONE actually get involved with this song again and even contribute some rhymes.