LOU KOLLER FROM SICK OF IT ALL’S QUINTESSENTIAL GUIDE TO HARDCORE – DAY NINE
To celebrate the release of Sick of it All’s awesome new album, Based on a True Story, we asked SOIA vocalist Lou Koller to compile the definitive list of quintessential hardcore albums. Luckily for us and all of you, he agreed! So we’ll be running one entry a day from Lou’s list of the top-ten (+1) hardcore records of all time for the next couple of weeks. You can catch up on previous installments here; the sixth one is after the jump…
Cro-Mags, The Age of Quarrel
This one is a monster. Victim in Pain put N.Y.H.C. on the map, but this one shoved it down your throat! Combining a love of the Bad Brains, Black Sabbath and Motorhead with the New York Hardcore sound and lifestyle of living in squats on the then-violent lower east side, there is no album as real and gritty as The Age of Quarrel. influential? Hell yeah, and far beyond just the hardcore scene. Everyone from Metallica to Bleeding Through to yours truly have been influenced by these guys. The music is intense and powerful, it has that N.Y.H.C. energy, and it resonates right down to your very core!
Sadly, the production doesn’t capture the weight of these songs as it should have. But the performances are there, especially form drummer Makie, who style was fresh and innovative and never duplicated. Jon Joseph’s vocals are brutal without being Cookie Monster-like. He has an urgency in his voice, but also has something no-nonsense in there. You know he’s walked the walk before he talked the talk – something the thousands of imitators that came later never got right. Harley Flanagan’s unique bass playing was the perfect combo of Lemmy and Geezr Butler, and with Paris Mayhew and Dough Holland’s crunchy riffs and blazing solos, Cro-Mags got the attention of the mainstream world outside of the NY scene.
But as with many bands so intense and explosive, in-fighting destroyed this classic line up. The follow up album, Best Wishes, is a good effort, and it has better production, but still, with out Makie and Jon, it just didn’t have the same feeling. The Age of Quarrel is legendary, inventive and relevant to this day. Today’s bands can tune down all they want, but they’ll never be as heavy as this, ’cause this album has a soul.
Based on a True Story is out now on Century Media. Visit Sick of it All on MySpace for tour dates and all the latest news from the band.