v/a "Our Impact Will Be Felt: A Tribute to Sick of it All" compilationPosted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 @ 8:55am » permalink
"Our Impact Will Be Felt: A Tribute to Sick of it All", recently released by Abacus Recordings, sees 20 acts from Rise Against to Napalm Death paying tribute to what is inarguably one of the greatest hardcore bands of all time via the good ol' cover song. It's a little weird to see a tribute album for a band that's still active, but you can't really go wrong with Sick of it All, and seeing that most all of these renditions are perfectly solid is definitely a testament to that fact. The sources of cover material are limited to SOIA's first four full-lengths and early 7"s (which, despite the fact that the band's still been going strong since that time, makes perfect sense), and for the most part the contributing acts stay pretty damn true to the originals aside from the occasional hint of added metal influence or subtle shift in attack, etc. Ignite ("Cease Fire") is among the few bands that takes any true liberties with the material in terms of switching up the arrangements a bit and of course making use of Zoli Teglas' vocal talents by adding in some harmonies and such. Rise Against does provide a similar vocal treatment in their take on "Built to Last", but they left the rest of the song basically untouched, which is perfectly fine. I didn't expect it to be the case, but my favorite track of the disc is definitely First Blood's absolutely crushing version of "Just Look Around" (easily one of my favorite SOIA songs in the first place) – which basically sticks to the original but makes everything 10 times heavier. Some other unexpected twists come when bands that are generally quite identifiable go by unrecognized: Bleeding Through ("We Want the Truth") has one of the rawest recordings of the disc, which is mildly unfortunate, but proves they can actually sound like a hardcore band; Hatebreed honestly does not sound like Hatebreed doing "Rat Pack" (I could barely even recognize the vocals!?); and I had no fucking clue that Sepultura was even on the disc until I looked at the tracklist. Sadly the worst of the surprises (and really the only blemish on the disc) comes from Napalm Death, whose take on "Who Sets the Rules" suffers from an utterly horrendous recording that sounds like it was recorded in their practice space or something like that. A damn shame. I guess that's why their track appears last on the disc! But elsewhere even bands that I've never been particularly fond of – Unearth, Bouncing Souls, Himsa, Stretch Arm Strong (their take on "Busted" is actually fuckin' awesome, perhaps due to the fact that the original's totally unstoppable), Walls of Jericho, Suicide Machines – do alright here. Also present are Madball (who can do no wrong), Comeback Kid, Pennywise, Kill Your Idols, Most Precious Blood, Bane, and No Redeeming Social Value. Are some songs better than others? Obviously. Are there a couple I could do without? Sure. But again, aside from the Napalm Death track this is a totally solid listen from start to finish. 20 tracks is a lot I guess, but the running time is just under 45 minutes, so… in a way I almost feel like there should be more songs! Sick of it All certainly has plenty of other outstanding tracks (I can't believe no one covered "Consume"!?), right? I'm not saying they should've filled up every single minute available on the disc, but… you might as well cram as much onto a "tribute" as you can, eh? No big deal, though. And the 16-page booklet is jammed with liner notes by Eric Weiss from Rumpshaker fanzine (one of the greatest zines ever), as well as members of all of the contributing bands and a couple of record labels to boot. Good stuff. I guess that's it.
Abacus is selling their shit as downloads now if you, uhhh, prefer that route (Booooooooo!), but I encourage you to buy a real, legitimate copy of the CD if you like what you hear. All of the liner notes are definitely a cool touch! Get to it: