Sick of It All
Outtakes For the Outcast (Fat Wreck Chords)
by Tim Den
After almost 20 years as NYHC’s premier ambassadors, you’d have to either be an ignorant fuck or a knee-jerk conservative/hipster douche to not recognize the power and significance of Sick Of It All. Even with a b-sides collection such as this, there’s no denying that the band aren’t the one trick pony certain asinine groups pegged them to be. Fine: Hate away, self-appointed know-it-alls and pudgy suburban parents. Dismiss this band’s chisel-sharp, juggled-tempo bursts of adrenaline as brute noise. Don’t recognize the nuance in the amalgamation of punk’s speed, hardcore’s breakdowns, and Oi!’s singalongs in whirlwinds such as “I Believe.” The fuck do we care? You’re the type who wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between National Enquirer and Time, anyway. Take your glossy-eyed, oblivious existence and go eat a bowl of dicks.
For the rest of us, Outtakes For the Outcast collects the beloved hardcore giant’s rarest efforts, from covers to b-sides to live ditties. Eternally positive, Sick Of It All’s anthems advocate unity, compassion, introspection, self-criticism, and most of all, optimism in a genre that’s famous for its meatheaded fans. They rally the troops with infectious energy and seem to boil over with intensity, injecting in the listener a blood-boiling rush like no other hardcore act. The power of Sick Of It All is obvious, even in an odds-and-ends collection. Pick it up and realize why they’re the most popular NYHC act of all time.