SICK OF IT ALL TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, WAKE THE SLEEPING DRAGON! VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS & CENTURY MEDIA ON NOVEMBER 2

FIRST SINGLE, “INNER VISION,” NOW STREAMING 

“It’s a blasting, screamer of a song in the vein of early Discharge or Exploited” – Consequence of Sound

 

Fat Wreck Chords is thrilled to welcome SICK OF IT ALL back to the FAT family! On November 2nd, we’ll join forces with Century Media to release their latest opus, Wake The Sleeping Dragon! We could not be more excited to be handling the CD and LP in the US, as well as the vinyl in Canada. SOIA once again teamed up with producer Jerry Farley (Lamb of God/Every Time I Die) and came out with an absolute banger. If you missed the premiere of the lead single, “Inner Vision,” Consequence of Sound has you covered. Then, once you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, pre-order your copy! Check out what SOIA had to say about returning to FAT, below:

Having a long history with both Century Media and Fat Wreck Chords, and knowing how much they care about us and the music we make, we are psyched about this joint effort! Both labels have been friends and champions of SOIA, on their roster or not.


Photo credit: Joerg Baumgarten

New York City hardcore legends SICK OF IT ALL aren’t slowing down with age, the long-standing quartet are still pissed off, and the genre stalwarts still see many years ahead. SICK OF IT ALL remain a beacon of continuity, integrity, and resolve. That’s good news for SICK OF IT ALL fans and the hardcore scene. Since forming in 1986, SICK OF IT ALL have traveled the world many times over, played in front of hundreds of thousands, and released 11 acclaimed full-length albums, the latest of which is the riotous if anthemic Wake the Sleeping Dragon!. That SICK OF IT ALL continue to live by the standards in their original charter isn’t a matter of course, it’s part of their respective DNA. Hardcore is SICK OF IT ALL. “We’re a band that thrives from frustration,” says drummer Armand Majidi. “Aging seems to work well with our message, as opposed to a good-time band who sings about partying all night. There are so many horrible aspects of the world that become more obvious to us year after year, which we didn’t see or understand before, which fuel our frustration every day. We’ve lived long enough now to see through the matrix, and thank goodness we have this band, so we can vent about it.”

And SICK OF IT ALL will voice, express, and declare their anger. As with pivotal albums Blood, Sweat and No Tears (1989), Scratch the Surface (1994), and The Last Act of Defiance (2014), the New Yorkers aren’t afraid to cut the crap on Wake the Sleeping Dragon!. Written and arranged with friend and producer The Jerry Farley (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die)—a first—opener “Inner Vision,” “Robert Moses Was A Racist,” “Hardcore Horseshoe,” and “The Snake (Break Free)” retain SICK OF IT ALL’s signature sound but add melody, heaviness, and speed to the equation. Guest vocals by Tim McIlrath and Chuck Ragan add a new dynamic as well. Across Wake the Sleeping Dragon!’s 17 songs, SICK OF IT ALL have an album that observes tradition but has its eye on the future. “We didn’t shy away from stronger melodies on this album,” Majidi says. “So, there are some strikingly musical moments. Basically, we chose not to limit ourselves. The songs stand apart from each other by representing many different musical styles that have influenced us.”

On Wake the Sleeping Dragon!, SICK OF IT ALL opted to change up the lyrical approach. While daily frustrations, political idiocy, war, power imbalances, and general inequality have long fueled SICK OF IT ALL’s no-bullshit lyrics—the album title Wake the Sleeping Dragon! refers to a protest mechanism—today they’re focusing on the bigger picture while also injecting a bit of levity into the songs. “On this record, we had a more open, communal, tongue-in-cheek approach to lyric writing,” says Majidi. “So many different topics were covered, some way more lighthearted than others. We’ve done ‘serious’ so often, that what might stand out most to people is how much fun we had with the lyrics. It’s always time for revolution, so that message is loud and clear on multiple songs, but we also sing about musical heroes like the Bad Brains (‘That Crazy White Boy Shit’), inner demons (‘The Snake (Break Free.)’), our distaste of animal abuse (‘Bull’s Anthem’), annoying narcissism on social media, friends we’ve lost, life on the road, impending wars for resources, as well as mosh pit patterns that can be linked to male pattern baldness. We’ve allowed ourselves greater lyrical freedom on this record for sure!”

For the cover, SICK OF IT ALL wanted it to tie directly into the lyrics. Designed by Ernie Parada from Hellgate Industries but inspired by Lou Koller and Parada’s ‘50s era monster movie poster idea, the cover to Wake the Sleeping Dragon! is striking in its use of yellows, oranges, reds, and black. That it also brings in SICK OF IT ALL’s Alleyway Dragon mascot captures not just the mind but part of the band’s history as well. “Lou and Ernie came up with the idea of doing monster-movie styled art as the cover,” Majidi says. “The dragon climbing the Empire State was a concept I always wanted to see brought to life, so the two ideas were destined to come together this way.  I love the fact that although it’s the same artist, there’s no obvious aspect linking Ernie’s style from his first cover (2010’s Based On A True Story) to this one.”

Wake the Sleeping Dragon! was put to proverbial tape by The Jerry Farley at Nova Studios in Staten Island, New York over two weeks and a half, while Danish producer Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, The Haunted) mixed and mastered SICK OF IT ALL’s latest rager at Antfarm Studios in Aabyhøj, Denmark. What helped the process run smoothly was Farley’s early involvement, the two five-day pre-production sessions, and the ability to record as SICK OF IT ALL progressed with the songwriting. “The Jerry Farley also became a very important part of the creation of this album,” Majidi says. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a producer involved from start to finish, including the songwriting process. His objective viewpoints helped settle a lot of little issues that could have easily become stumbling blocks, and the songs themselves ended up benefitting from them. SICK OF IT ALL and Tue Madsen have maintained a long-lasting relationship based on understanding, friendship, and most importantly, good results—three factors any band would be very happy with.”

As for SICK OF IT ALL’s next steps, the picture is clear. Majidi and team are looking for a warm reception to Wake the Sleeping Dragon! and more rounds of tours around the globe. The sleeping dragon is awakening! And SICK OF IT ALL want you to join the rebellion!

Wake the Sleeping Dragon tracklisting:
1.    Inner Vision                              01:54
2.    That Crazy White Boy Shit     02:05
3.    The Snake (Break Free)          01:57
4.    Bull’s Anthem                           02:02
5.    Robert Moses Was A Racist    01:28
6.    Self Important Shithead          00:58
7.    To The Wolves                         01:39
8.    Always With Us                        02:26
9.    Wake The Sleeping Dragon     02:02
10.  2+2                                            01:49
11.  Beef Between Vegans             02:12
12.  Hardcore Horseshoe                01:52
13.  Mental Furlough                       02:16
14.  Deep State                               01:53
15.  Bad Hombres                           02:01
16.  Work The System                    01:46
17.  The New Slavery                     02:38
SICK OF IT ALL online:
www.sickofitall.com
www.facebook.com/sickofitallny
www.instagram.com/sickofitallnyc
twitter.com/SOIANYC

Rebel Spies – RISE!

I had this album collecting a little bit of dust on my desk and I feel a bit remiss about not having reviewed it sooner. The album actually came out late 2017. I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner, because I think these guys need a shoutout. At any rate, I’m here now, and here it is.

RISE! Is the debut full length from Rebel Spies, a Detroit area hardcore punk band featuring past and present members of the Suicide Machines, Telegraph, Hellmouth, HiFi Handgrenades, fordirelifesake and many more. Pedigree aside, the album rocks through 11 tracks of punk rock, with solid riffs, compelling intelligible vocals, and whole lot of guts and heart.

I’m going to offer you a bit of an odd comparison as to what I’m making of the sound, so bear with me here. Rebel Spies sounds a bit like if Rob Hellford’s slightly more gravely throated brother was singing lead vocals for a bit more punk/metal version of The Lawrence Arms. … Maybe I’m off my rocker here, or maybe it’s that I’m a bit hungover, but that’s the vibe I’m picking up.

While the band bills itself as a hardcore punk band, the riffery doesn’t stick strictly in the punk/hardcore vein. Track four, A Domain of Evil (Chapter One) delves into some ska territory, but track five, A Certain Point of View brings it back solidly with an aggressive old school sound. Track six, See You In Hell takes it you into a more straight up Rock and Roll direction.

It’s punk rock. It’s hardcore. It’s rock and roll. It’s got a lotta fucking balls. Get some!

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

https://rebelspies.bandcamp.com/

https://undercomm.bandcamp.com/album/rise

 

No Takers – S/T

Currently listening to a self-titled release from No Takers. The seven track release is aggressive, hardcore punk, with tinges of speed metal nicely interwoven into the mix. Hints of Agnostic Front, Madball, and Sick Of It All, and D.R.I. are dancing through my head as the tracks spin on.

The band, while certainly a product of its influences, manages to provide a take on the genre that is simultaneously brand new, yet oddly familiar. It’s as though a band you loved from the late 80s found a previously unreleased album somewhere in a vault. You’ve never heard it before, but you totally know where it’s coming from.

As a product of 80’s metal, punk, and hardcore, I’m definitely onboard with the sound. It’s well crafted, fast, intense, and articulate. What’s not to like?

Cheers!
-Jerry Actually

No Takers, from Denver, CO, combine the speed and ferocity of 90s street punk with the passion, intensity and creativity of 80s hardcore. Drawing influence from bands across genres, this 4 piece uses intricate metal-inspired riffs over an unrelenting rhythm section to create a sound of their own.

Brandon Davis – Vocals
Delon Beckett– Guitar
Jason Chavez – Bass
Ryan Longenecker – Drums

NoTakersMusic.com

@NoTakersMusic

The Orphan – GODS.GUTTERS.STONES

GODS.GUTTERS.STONES, the new EP from The Orphan (Melbourne Australia) blasts out three tracks of noisy garage hardcore. The tracks are an intense wash of sound to the point of being a blur. Sounds jab at you from all directions leaving you reeling from the sonic assault. Each track bleeds into the next as you begin to bleed from your ears. Individual tracks are representative of the triumvirate title, with the final track, “Stones” bringing the EP to a grinding guttural conclusion. Listen at your peril.

-Jerry Actually

UGLYBoNES – Growing Concerns

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

uglybonesUGLYBoNES is a four piece hardcore/thrash punk outfit running out of the Windy City, (Chicago for those of you living under rocks) They’ve got a new album to jam up into your earholes. It’s entitled Growing Concerns and it will crush you.

The release contains 10 tracks, ninety percent of which clock in well under the two minute mark. Rapid bursts of sonic aggression without being over the top ear bleed screamo assault. (totally up my alley as screamo razer vocals are fn lame)

The tracks are all solidly constructed on a foundation of the angst of fading youth. The lyrical delivery is drenched with intensity and the musical accompaniment is fraught with urgency. The overall effect is a cavalcade of pretty rad hardcore punk.

The only downside I can think of is that the tracks have a very consistent pattern of insisting on a slower breakdown segment. Not saying they don’t have merit, but it can get a bit formulaic by the end.

Any downside aside, this band deserves a little bit of your attentions. Go check out their tracks and kick ‘em down some dough so they can continue to rip this shit up.

http://uglybones.bandcamp.com/

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Set Off 01:44
2. PCAF 01:20
3. Not The Same 01:39
4. Obscene 01:17
5. Grown Up 00:54
6. Office Destroyer 00:30
7. SUX 01:20
8. Took Too Much 01:19
9. Bendz 02:25
10. Lazy 01:38

Bum City Saints – Ride The Storm

© 2014 Pirates Press Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

bum_city_saints_ride_the_stormArriving more or less hot off the heels of their prior full-length, Spirit of the City, San Francisco’s own hard as fuck punk rockers, Bum City Saints are back with a new EP. (See, I told you new stuff was on the way, didn’t I?)

The “Ride The Storm” EP batters its way through five original tracks and one glorious cover. The songs are almost entirely done at a breakneck pace and clocking in at, for the most part, well under the two minute mark. If the track times alone are an indication, let me reinforce that by saying this EP rocks it out hard core from start to finish.

If you’re not all that familiar with the band, they’ve been rocking the Bay area since around 2007. Their music is a tight blend of punk and hardcore. The band, at least by sound, wears the street punk mantle with the Oi style sing-along whoa whoa whoas and the blue collar ethos. I’ve also noticed a progression towards some trash-esque melody in their later releases.

With multiple releases this year, the band is continuing strong. Three cheers for Bum City Saints! If you’d like to find out more about the band or check out their summer tour dates, hit up their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BumCitySaints

–Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Crush All
2. Bury Me
3. Into The Fire
4. From Ashes Rise
5. Calling Us Away
6. Eye Of The Tiger

Bum City Saints – Spirit of the City

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

bum_city_saints_spirit_of_the_citySpirit of the City is fast becoming one of my favorite releases. The disc came out in 2013. I’m just getting around to reviewing. My laziness often betrays me. As a saving grace, I had this CD in my car for a couple weeks and kept listening to it on my daily commute. The more I listen, the more hooked I become.

For those that don’t know about this band, (including myself) They hail from the bay area and have been rocking the fuck out since around 2007. Like many other badass rock and rollers, they’re a trio. And, as if you didn’t already know it, the triangle is the strongest geometric shape found in nature. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

At any rate, Spirit of the City is an intense blast of punk rock channeling the energy of both West Coast punk and East Coast hardcore. The sound, while distinct is reminiscient of Rancid, Jughead’s Revenge and Agnostic Front (albeit with more whoa whoa whoas)

The release kicks out 13 tracks. You can check out their Reverb Nation (http://www.reverbnation.com/bumcitysaints) page for a sample.

Support local punk rock, kids! Go find some of this and go see them live if you can. And stay tuned, ‘cause I hear there’s some new music from Bum City Saints coming out in the next few months.

–Jerry Actually

The Welch Boys – Bring Back The Fight

© 2013

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Welch-Boys-BBTF-coverThe Welch Boys are indeed bringing back the fight. Hand’s down my favorite release so far this year brings back these Boston stalwarts. I haven’t taken much time to write as of late, but I felt I owed it to you to tell you about this. If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m talking about “Bring Back The Fight”, the brand new album from The Welch Boys. Grit, vitriol, and punk rock are all well intact in the new one. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This time around, the tunes bring a whole new level of polish. Not that things were shabby before, but time, and time well spent, bring about the next level of songcraft. It’s fucking here. It’s fucking now. It lets you realize that hardcore punk rock and roll is still alive!

Slight aside, but I’m a little bit concerned that The Welch Boys are so poorly represented here on the left coast, and hopefully my little bit of lip service will help to remedy that. Maybe it’s California where the sun never sets and it never gets cold where folks just don’t appreciate anthems of angst, hardship, and hope? I don’t know. Maybe I have an east coast soul that draws me to the aforementioned. No matter what it is, this is the real deal.

I’ll quit boring you with my gushing. At the end of the of a hard working day, what more do you need than a fist full of beers and a new album to ease you back into the world of the living?

–Jerry Actually

Chotto Ghetto – Sparkles

© 2012 Asian Man Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

I’m not immediately sure what to make of Chotto Ghetto. Their music is a bit of a mystery, the good kind of mystery though. I’ve heard folks say that they are “progressive hardcore”. I suppose that is as reasonable a description as is needed for the time being. Reasonable, that is, if you think that unusual structures, instrumentation and odd melodies are progressive.

Vague descriptions aside (to be followed by vague postulation) Chotto Ghetto brings an interesting amalgam of sounds that you are sure you like but aren’t quite sure where they are from. If I had to try to pigeon hole this, which will be hard, I’d go with this. The band is a largely unidentifiable hybrid of Yes, Death by Stereo, The Police, Sound Garden, Pink Floyd and Voivod, only with more hardcore riffs and beats. You’re probably thinking, wtf, but I assure you that it works. I think their website says it all, “Chotto Ghetto is a band from Los Angeles California.”

Anyhow, their new release, “Sparkles”, out now on Asian Man Records, offers 15 tracks of musical diversity and a rare fresh sound that you just aren’t hearing much of these days. Some of the stand out tracks, at least for me are 3. Ghost Finders and 5. These Kids Crave Discipline.

Overall, this release is a winner and a great choice for any serious fan of the arcane art of music collection. It may not be for everyone. However, if you like you music (mostly) fast, diverse and complex, then this is a must have for you.

–Jerry Actually