Let it never be said that Sick of It All lack dedication. After almost 25 years of recording and touring, the New York hardcore legends are still going strong on their ninth studio album, Based on a True Story. Despite time moving on, Sick of It All’s dedication to their music finds them releasing an album that’s as aggressive as anything they’ve done. Even from the opening moments of “Death or Jail,” you can almost feel the heat of a sweat-soaked mosh pit, re-creating that feeling of fighting through the heat and violence to lend your voice to the gang chorus, with every fist-pumping word creating an instant brotherhood. It’s not just the aggression that they’ve managed to keep up, but also the intensity. Songs like “Good Cop” and “Watch It Burn” are stuffed full of d-beat fury and cathartic breakdowns, all driven forward by Lou Koller’s relentless vocal rasps. Based on a True Story has everything that fans will have come to expect from the band after a quarter-century, making this album a kind of old-school hardcore comfort food for punk rockers. While Sick of It All may not be reinventing the wheel, they are showing that they’re still making the same high quality wheel they’ve always made, and if you’re in a rush to get to the nearest circle pit, accept no substitutes.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney