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Sick of it All | Yours Truly | review | hardcore | Lollipop

Sick of it All

Yours Truly (Fat)
by Tim Den

After putting out consistently good records for almost 15 years, Sick Of It All are back with another no-frills chunk of NYHC goodness. This time around, the brutality that dominated Scratch the Surface and Call to Arms is toned down a bit for "experimental" purposes, allowing more melodic singing (Lou actually hits quite a couple of raspy notes for good measure) and jangly, almost indie rock guitars. Not that they've gone and become Chisel, what with all them crisp down-stroking guitar bursts, but they've definitely brought more to the table than regular power chords on Yours Truly. And who can blame them? If I'd played NYHC for half my life, I'd be looking for new routes too.

As expected, the almost-cheesy Oi! tendencies of Built to Last rear their head here and there ("Hello Pricks"), as do the old school stylings of 50-second fast songs ("Broke Dick"). But the most welcome returning element of Sick Of It All - as with all their records - is their lyrical understanding of the hardcore scene. Always striving to spread peace, respect, and love, Yours Truly once again delivers street-leveled wisdom to the mob-like crowds the genre attracts. "No one's impressed by your lack of respect/we're all black sheep and we know it/so don't fuck it up for the rest... don't make a name for yourself by stressing out everyone else/and don't bring your personal war through these doors" ("Hello Pricks"). These are the words of a mature unit, one that has seen and done it all and knows better.

One critic, who ironically writes for Entertainment Weekly (a gossip rag; media-covering-media... you know, respectable journalism and in no way melodramatic itself), once said that Sick Of It All was "ludicrously macho, cartoonishly furious, and preposterously melodramatic." This guy (aside from being oblivious to the reputation of his employers) obviously grew up on the other side of the street throwing rocks at punk kids, because he missed the point completely. Sick Of It All is urgent, not testosterone-filled (although the same can't be said of their audience); seasoned, not putting up a front. To not be able to realize that this grandfather and monumental figure of hardcore is wise beyond its genre and far more intelligent in its content is as dumb as... well, thinking being a music critic for Entertainment Weekly makes you credible.
(PO Box 193690 San Francisco, CA 94119)


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