Sick Of It All are that New York hardcore band that’s at least partially responsible for every suburban white boy who does the Windmill at shows. Since I find hardcore dancing terribly amusing, this is not necessarily a bad thing. SOIA bounced from indie label to major label (and Ozzfest) and now are back on Fat Wreck with a new collection of B-sides and cover songs spanning nearly ten years.
Gritty music and growly vocals, long on anger and short on variety, hardcore is something best experienced live, and recordings rarely do it justice. Each song can sound the same, since you can barely tell what’s coming out of the singer’s mouth, and the musicians aren’t exactly known for their range. Still, this collection is worth a look, if only for the great covers of Sham 69’s “Borstal Breakout,” given a New York attitude makeover, and the Misfits’ “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Other covers include Sham 69’s “Ripoff,” Husker Dü’s “Target,” and the Last Resort’s “Working Class Kids.”
The rest of the songs are Sick Of It All originals, ranging from 1992 to 2001, and include a remix by House of Pain. This record might be more for die-hard fans, though the cover songs might help break in people unfamiliar with the band. Then again, if you really don’t know anything about hardcore and want to learn, I strongly suggest going to a live show instead.