Sick of it All

1. Clobberin’ Time
2. Injustice System!
3. Sanctuary
4. Scratch The Surface
5. Us Vs. Them
6. The Deal
7. Just Look Around
8. Ratpack
9. World Full Of Hate
10. Pushed Too Far
11. GI Joe Headstomp
12. Never Measure Up
13. Chip Away
14. Busted
15. Locomotive
16. My Life
17. Friends Like You
18. Relentless
19. No Labels
20. Built To Last

Lou Koller (Vocals)
Pete Koller (Guitar)
Armand Majidi (Drums)
Craig Ahead (Bass)

Blood, Sweat and No Tears (1989)
Just Look Around (1992)
Scratch the Surface (1994)
Built to Last (1997)
Call to Arms (1999)
Yours Truly (2000)
Life on the Ropes (2003)
Death to Tyrants (2006)
Based on a True Story (2010)


Tue Madsen (Producer)
Recorded in Antfarm Studios

Released 31/10-2011
Reviewed 28/12-2011

century media

20 songs with 35.5 minutes of running time usually means either hardcore or punk rock and considering the name Sick Of It All I don't see too big risks betting on them being that. Surprise surprise as it turns out Sick Of It All is exactly that - a hardcore band - when we push play on 'nonstop', an album that in many senses feels divided on 50% pauses between songs and 50% non stop screaming. The songs are between 50 seconds and 3.5 minutes and the four shortest songs are all below one minute (Ratpack, My Life, Clobbering Time and Pushed Too Far 50, 50, 58 and 59 secunds respectively), and these all really helps to create a feeling that everything is always ending as soon as it starts.

The political agenda that the band drives is quite obvious with song titles like Injustice System!, Us Vs. Them, World Full Of Hate, GI Joe Headstomp and No Labels: war-refusing left-wing conservatists that is against the capitalism, government and greediness. And I have no issues against that. I myself am quite politically interested and sympatise with these Americans in some of the things they say. However, I do feel this album becomes something of a "politics for dummies"- scaled down, simplified and generalising. It's not like the complex political systems in the world can be explained in an album on 35 minutes with 20 songs averageing on 1 minute and 45 seconds. It's a very nested system, built over thousands of years and I just don't think they give any subject enough time to make a fair input in the debate with this album, especially since there are so many subjects they want to tell us their opinion in. What they should do is to pick one or two topics that they think is particullary important, focus on them and put 100% on that until the next album when they continue with the next subject. So… their lyrical theme does not impress me, their album structure does not impress me… how about the music then?

Overall I think 'Nonstop' qualifies as a pretty noisy album with lots of sounds thundering around like empty oil barrows rolling down the steep and sunny roads of San Francisco down towards the bay. The vocals are extremely frustrating to listen at as they mostly consist of shouting by someone I think sound like a typical American 28 year old guy with sparsely goate and blond, coamed back semi long hair biting his teeth together so hard they cut through the enamel while pushing all kind of angry-related words out through them. Just like most American hardcore vocalists sound. Now off course I have no clue wether that description fits Lou Keller or not, but voice-wise that's how he sound at least. Or… I actually do know Keller is a few years past 28 as the band celibrates 25 years with this album and they hardly put a three years old behind the microphone as they were formed in 1986.

The music then is also quite oil barrowly noisy and the structure is quite questionable as I've said already, the feeling is that the album is ending most of the time. The songs are ending fast and because of how the songs are made they seem to end in the middle as well, which doesn't help these already short and plentyful number of songs. There are interruptions and changes in melody and tempo more or less all the time and the music go forward only with big difficulty. I find very little to like on this album and honestly I think it's a very poor hardcore album. And predictably then also a very poor album. Where is the personal in it? Where is the musically thinking? What's there to like and where is it? We, those who listen to the album - where should we look for it? To be frank I feel quite sick of it all!

Sick Of It All doesn't reach nowhere near with 'Nonstop'. It stays well outside the congress! I haven't even heard the originals, but these re-recorded classics simply doesn't do it for me and instead of cutting the mustard, this album makes my mustard come the wrong way out.


Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Agnostic Front/Earth Crisis/Blood From The Soul
Rating: HHHHHHH (2/7)
Recensent: Caj Källmalm

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