In this time of global pandemic, economic precarity and ecological cataclysm, it can be very easy to become disillusioned, and anti-authoritarian views seem to be very much at the forefront of many people’s minds. Even though this has led to a lot of frustration and anxiety, it has also meant people are more politically minded and embracing more radical positions – which is visible on the left and the right.
Self-described ‘Primitive Metal’ band Sick Society bring a range of different social issues to the table on their record URNØ1, all under the guise of some shred-led toe-tapping music. The band from Milan, Italy offer a blend of traditional metal and thrash which will have you simultaneously windmilling your hair and pumping your fist, all while building up catchy rhythms and big choruses. Oh, and for good measure throwing in some blinding guitar solos (with a few well-placed dive bombs) to really show how technically proficient this band is.
The record actually doesn’t open with a song but a take on Boots Randolph’s long lived classic ‘Yakety Sax with news clips spliced in for good measure. This way to introduce the record sums up the tone that Sick Society are going for. Poking fun at the world we currently all live in, and showing what a joke those so called “leaders” are doing when it comes to government. The music itself is fast and ferocious, but with an edge of fun – think along the lines of Municipal Waste but with less songs about beer.
Sick Society have a lot to say and they manage to cram it all into an album that’s a little under thirty-eight minutes. While songs like ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Sick Society’ are a bit more clear and on the knuckle as to what the band are addressing, tracks like ‘Lobotomized’ and ‘Masonery’ are where the band shines the most, bringing in big gang choruses to compliment the ripping guitars that just shred throughout.
Even though there is an element of tongue-in-cheek to what Sick Society do – there are times where the band do go a little hair metal in parts – what can’t be taken away from them is their self-assurance, their confidence that what they have to say matters. And with the world the way it is, certainty is a radical act.
URNØ1 is out now and can be purchased here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck