Sick of It All
Based on a True Story


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 21st, 2010 | 62 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: After the no-frills approach of Death to Tyrants, Sick of it All return with one of the most diverse and memorable albums of their career.

Fat Mike of NOFX often jokes that he is open to all musical styles because he likes both kinds – punk and hardcore – and it would seem that Sick of it All subscribe to the same line of thought. Generally speaking, the only thing that changes from one Sick of it All album to the next is the ratio of punk to hardcore, and most fans would have it no other way. Despite this predictability, though, the band did go through a rough patch during their time with Fat Wreck Chords. For some reason, those albums just seemed to lack the conviction and fire of earlier releases. They eventually made up for the lull in quality with their back-to-basics approach on Death to Tyrants, an album that retuned them to the forefront of hardcore by featuring the best production of their career and by being unrelentingly heavy.

While Death to Tyrants left the band standing on top with virtually nothing left to prove, they still had never trumped their 1992 release Just Look Around. It’s doubtful that they started into this album with the intent of topping that release, but that’s pretty much what they have accomplished. Based on a True Story is easily their most diverse and catchy release to date, and it also retains the powerful production of its predecessor. There are a few different elements that have helped the band achieve this feat, but varying the tempos and adding a powerful groove are the main two. In addition, they’ve successfully integrated enough melodic punk influence to make the riffs more memorable and diverse than is usually the case. The biggest thing that they’ve accomplished with this release, though, is that they’ve managed to add an element of fun that could catch some fans off guard.

The slightly more melodic riffs have a little to do with this new “fun factor”, but the main source comes from the gang shouts. A majority of the gang shouts have received a small dose of melody that have made them appealing in a way that almost forces people to yell along to the songs. Despite the subtle melodic punk influence and the catchy nature of the gang shouts, though, the band’s roots are still firmly planted in hardcore. No matter how upbeat or fun a track seems to get, it is still going to be predominantly aggressive and heavy. It should be noted that some fans are inevitably going to reiterate the fact that the band tried this formula during the Fat Wreck days and largely failed, but this time they’ve done it right. Thanks in large part to the production and the band’s focus on intensity and heaviness, they’ve pushed past the issues that occasionally plagued them in the past.

As great as it was to see the band make a full comeback with Death to Tyrants, this album is even better due to the diversity and fun factor that they’ve injected into their formula. With Based on a True Story, Sick of It All have not only proven that they still have what it takes to play intense hardcore, but that their best days still might be ahead of them. After almost eighteen years the band have finally topped their magnum opus, Just Look Around, in terms of diversity, appeal, and all around excellent song writing. If this is true then it should be safe to say that Based on a True Story marks the bands new peak, but that’s not going to happen any time soon because nostalgia is a bitch.



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user ratings (59)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Highly recommended as a starting point for anyone looking to get into this band.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2010


8393 Comments


Splendid review

If I can force myself to take Rikets off repeat, I may give this a shot, but only because you said I should.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 21st 2010


5820 Comments


Is there a stream?

I guess retuned could work in a way, but did you mean returned in the first paragraph?

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If I can force myself to take Rikets off repeat, I may give this a shot, but only because you said I should.
I'm going to end up checking out all the Rikets songs on iTunes or Amazon and then decide whether to get it or not.

I think this is something you could get into, although it's not really metal.
Is there a stream?

I guess retuned could work in a way, but did you mean returned in the first paragraph?
There was a stream but it's gone. As for the "returned" thing, it was between that and "restored". I could have also changed the sentence to something more along the lines of "reinstated their position at the top..." but it seemed too wordy.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2010


8393 Comments


yeah well, we'll see. It's late here atm, and I'm calling it for the day anyway in a few minutes, but I'll try to check this one out tomorrow.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 21st 2010


5820 Comments


Alright, sorry to even bother with that btw

Great review, is it anything like rise against?

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a lot heavier than Rise Against (at least their last two albums... the only ones I've heard). Have you heard Madball or Agnostic Front? More similar to them.

TheSpirit
April 21st 2010


18001 Comments



Great review, is it anything like rise against?



It's like rise against on steroids

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

Romulus
April 21st 2010


8447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

After almost eighteen years the band have finally topped their magnum opus, Just Look Around


and that makes me amazingly happy. Great review for a great album.

And these guys are way heavier than Rise Against Jared but in my humble opinion they're probably a fair bit better. (Whoops two people beat me to it)

Ponton
Emeritus
April 21st 2010


5820 Comments


Oh cool, I need to freshen up on this side of music, so I guess this a great place to pick it back up



EyesWideShut
April 21st 2010


3210 Comments


i thought this album wasnt bad, but Sick of it All and their Rise Against on steroids sound just got boring to me.

cvlts
April 21st 2010


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

love this band

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm not in love with the albums on Fat Wreck, but everything before and after is awesome. I wish they'd re-record Blood, Sweat and No Tears with this new producer.

eternium
April 21st 2010


16340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is about as heavy as hardcore can get without being metalcore.
More people need to listen to this.

CushMG15
April 21st 2010


1803 Comments


Listened to the two songs on their myspace from this and I like it. Currently obtaing this and Death to Tyrants.

I remember now that I heard Rise Against's cover of Built to Last some time ago and really liked it.

Solid review as always boss.

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool, thanks. If you like those two then I would suggest getting Just Look Around too.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2010


20858 Comments


Hmmm, I might give this a go later in the year. Whattayareckon Trey?

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think that it will be too heavy for you. I know you like Rise Against, but don't pay too much attention to the "Rise Against on Steroids" description some people have given.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2010


20858 Comments


Yeah, I think it will be too. We'll see how I go. Good review.

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool. If you do check it out definitely let me know what you think (and I'm still waiting on your Lene Marlin assessment).



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