Sick of It All – “Wake The Sleeping Dragon!”

Album Reviews | Nov 29th, 2018

Sick Of It All - Wake The Sleeping Dragon
Image used with permission for review purposes.

Genre: Hardcore
Record Label: Century Media/Fat Wreck Records
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What more can be said that people don’t already know about New York Hardcore legends Sick of It All? A band that’s been around for more than 30 years who’ve managed to maintain the same lineup for 26 of those years is a super impressive feat not too many bands can lay claim to. But as some bands tone it down and mellow it out in their old age, have Sick of It All fallen to prey to the same?

With the vim and vigor displayed out of the gate, Sick of It All are back with the same veracity that’s kept them going all these years. Opening up with high energy and high spirits with “Inner Vision” and going straight into a history lesson with “That Crazy White Boy Shit” which tells the story of the legendary Bad Brains changing the game. “The Snake (Break Free)” is about struggling with dark places and getting past them one 2 step at a time. Digging into their Punk roots, they haven’t forgotten the struggle and the streets and aren’t afraid to take on social issues and injustices. Songs “Deep State”, “Bad Hombres,” “The New Slavery,” “Beef Between Vegans” and “Work the System” tackle a lot of tough subjects such as the division and selfishness that’s absorbed our society. In a world where we seem to be berated with people’s politics and misinformed views, we still need to be reminded at the end of the day we’re all humans and we need to seek unity and not division as these songs point out.

In a more lighthearted moment the band tackles one of hardcore’s biggest issues in “Hardcore Horseshoe” in an attempt to get kids to move up and fill in the pit, and it certainly does. “To the Wolves” has a very Hatebreed-esque sound that’s a good listen, while the title track gets is message across fast and freely. It’s been a tough year for some of hardcore’s fallen heroes, and they’re honored with the track “Always with us” which gives a more positive tribute with a very catchy anthem like sing along. Speaking of anthems, “Bull’s Anthem” is a great old school styled sing along sung by those looking for the matador’s to get defeated by the bulls.

In the end, it’s a feel good release with a great energy and optimistic approach that makes you feel a lot better knowing there’s like minded thinking steeped in old school Punk values still going on in this crazy world we live in. It’s refreshing to know those messages from that time ago still echo and have the same resonance while coming off a lot more positive than most political debates end. Plus it’s also a very fun and punch record. Which for as long they’ve been around, it’s great to know we can still count on Sick of It All.

Notable Tracks: Bull’s Anthem, The Snake (Break Free), That Crazy White Boy Shit
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