Sick of it All: The Last Act of Defiance

For a band that has been around since the early years of when hardcore punk music was taking shape, it’s amazing to believe that Sick of it All are still making really decent and relevant hardcore music in 2014. I don’t mean that to be negative at all. I’m simply saying that here we have a band that that originally form din 1986, released their first album Blood, Sweat, and No Tears (a ground-breaking album and phenomenal debut record as well), and have not let more than 4 years pass by without releasing another record. This totals out to eleven studio records to date including The Last Act of Defiance. This, in my opinion, helps to support the claim of this group being one of the more consistent and influential hardcore punk bands in general.

The Last Act of Defiance is another simply the latest installment to the Sick of it All. Similarly to how I described the recent Cannibal Corpse record, because this band are so consistent, most fans will enjoy what they hear and overall, there are not very many surprises to be found other than ‘wow, these guys are still coming up with fresh and cool ideas.’ Songs like “Sound the Alarm,” “Losing War,” and “Facing the Abyss” are absolute head crushers, while others like “Get Bronx” are worthy being described as some of the best material the band has ever released. Like most of their older material, the thematic elements of their lyrics are deeply rooted in politics and violence. Sick of it All shows us a band continuing to ride a wave that has allowed them to maintain a strong level of popularity through a new label and a slightly newer sound than when they began their journey over 30 years ago.

In a world full of copy-cats, complacency and stagnation, it’s always nice to not only see new bands discovering new ground, but for old bands to maintain some level of relevancy through fresh, stylistic changes of their sound without straying too far from their roots. Sick of it All are definitely a band that can epitomize what a consistent career looks like. They are a highly influential group and their lasting musical impressions can never be overshadowed or forgotten. I have a very strong feeling that this is not the last album we’ll see from this band. Not by a long shot.

Luke Helker

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