Thursday, May 21, 2015

CD review: SOCIAL DECAY Sick Society by Dave Wolff

Sick Society
To The Point Records
It’s impressive how hardcore music has survived pop punk, nu metal, metalcore and other mainstream trends and emerged from the shadows cast by them stronger than ever. New Jersey’s Social Decay personify this accomplishment as they’ve been active since 1984, before hardcore bands even crossed over with metal. Once when I visited the LIU radio station, one DJ involved in metal and indie programming assumed no one today knew of Bad Brains. This would most likely be unthinkable to Social Decay. Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Urban Waste, Discharge and virtually all of hardcore’s originators are familiar to them as they’ve shared the stage with almost anyone you can think of. Their longevity and experience is evident on this full length which retains their roots all the way back to the early 80s while incorporating some elements of metal in an unforced manner that’s far more convincing than what passes for punk and hardcore according to most college stations these days. Listening to Sick Society you can almost feel going to a hardcore matinee or evening show, paying the single-figure cover charge and walking into the club, sweat and dirty bathrooms and all. It may be a cliché but I’d rather have a bathroom stinking of piss and puke than an upscale club turning out third rate “punk” bands whose only source of information is the aforementioned indie programming. What was lost in this transition, Social Decay bring back with a vengeance. Kind of gives new meaning to titles like Life's Not Hard… You're Just Soft (the title of the band’s debut EP). Any of the songs gracing this album will educate the uninformed and revitalize the faithful. -Dave Wolff