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EP REVIEW: When The Smoke Clears – Sick Of It All

30 years into their career and SICK OF IT ALL are still one of the biggest and best bands in hardcore. After 11 studio albums the New York Hardcore titans are celebrating this milestone with When The Smoke Clears, a five track EP that looks set to deliver more of what fans have loved over the past 30 years.

When The Smoke Clears gets off to a great start with it’s title track, it’s a bit more mid tempo for them but it’s got plenty of stomp and the gang vocals are just classic SOIA. Lou Kollers vocals are just as strong as ever and Pete Koller still knows how to deliver killer hardcore riffs. Black Venom kicks things up a notch with a riff guaranteed to get pits going. However it’s the final minute of this song where SOIA are at their very best, crushingly heavy whilst delivering the kind of hook that fans will be screaming along to live. Doomed Campaign adds a bit more pace to proceedings and has some more punk touches to it whilst Blood & Steel is the EPs strongest moment in terms of lyrics delivering it’s most inspiring and anthemic moments. Finally Fortress just wraps up the EP with another burst of brilliant hardcore before closing out with a huge gang vocal singalong.

This EP is very much something fans will adore, SOIA do absolutely nothing to reinvent the wheel here and while that might bother some people but this is just the band doing what they do best. It’s unlikely that fans would want SOIA to stray away from this formula when they do it so well. SOIA have remained true to their roots for 30 years now and it’s unlikely that will ever change. To them hardcore is more than a genre, it’s their way of life and that’s what it will always be.

With each track clocking in under 3 minutes this is a very short EP but the whole thing just feels like a shot of adrenaline. Until they release another full length album this will definitely keep fans pleased. So whilst the EP isn’t anything new it’s just a great reminder that even after 30 years, SICK OF IT ALL can still deliver when it comes to New York Hardcore.

Rating: 8/10

When The Smoke Clears - Sick of it All

When The Smoke Clears is out now via Century Media Records.

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