30 November 2018

Sick of It All - Wake the Sleeping Dragon


As legendary NYHC go, Sick of it All are quite high up the list of names.  From 1986 to date, Sick of It All (sometimes styled SOIA) have just kept out churning out albums, touring the world and caused positively charged mayhem everywhere they go.  Their gigs are cathartic releases of energy, they might look scary, but I've never felt safer out at a gig than at one of their shows.  They just seem to have a unity which is second to none, even with all that anger on display.  Wake The Sleeping Dragon is their twelveth studio album, which sees them return to Fat Wreck Chords (in the USA) after an absence of fifteen years.  Over in the UK, Wake the Sleeping Dragon has been released on Century Media.  The buzz around this album has been noticeable, the iconic image of the dragon on top of the Empire State Building, all King Kong style, is a fantastic Pulp Fiction style inspired image.  But what about the music?

Over the course of the seventeen songs and thirty-three minutes of Wake the Sleeping Dragon, Sick of It All sing, shout and kick their way through issues.  These range from the rise of the stupid right-wing white boys ("That Crazy White Boy Shit"), the lack of Brooklyn Dodgers ("Robert Moses Was A Racist" (they do say it at the end of the song)), stepping back up after being shoved down ("To The Wolves"), the fall of Trump and his wall ("Bad Hombres") and generally trying to keep your collective shit together in this clusterfuck of a planet ("Inner Vision").  The longest song ("The New Slavery") on this album is two minutes, thirty seconds long.  Each number is a powerful statement and sounds like it's designed to start a mosh pit at a moments notice.

Because of the nature of Hardcore music, Wake the Sleeping Dragon is a fast and furious release.  Now, whilst I truly enjoy this album, I also recognise it's an album that sticks to their guns.  Which is exactly how it should be.  If Sick of It All had of a suddenly changed even an iota, it would have sucked.  So, more props to them for sticking to that course they started years ago.  I love each of these songs, they never put a foot wrong throughout the album and it just goes to show, you truly cannot keep a good band down.  Sick of It All are as vital and alive in 2018 as they were when they first emerged on to the New York Hardcore Scene. Wake the Sleeping Dragon is a reminder that they've never been away! 

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart

Top track - Bad Hombres

You can purchase Wake the Sleeping Dragon on Amazon here.

You can visit the Sick of It All website here.

You can follow the activities of Sick of It All on Facebook here.

You can stream Wake the Sleeping Dragon on Spotify here.

You can stream Wake the Sleeping Dragon on Deezer here.

You can stream Wake the Sleeping Dragon on Tidal here.

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