Sick Of It All: Wake The Sleeping Dragon album review

NY’s hardcore punk heroes Sick Of It All keep their furnace fully stoked on Wake The Sleeping Dragon

Sick Of It All album cover

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When talking about veteran bands the phrase ‘They’ve never sounded better’ gets bandied around a lot. 

It’s usually nonsense, and Sick Of It All should be held up as a barometer of what actually refusing to age, slow down or lose any of the fire that made your early years so vital actually sounds like. Once more they’ve delivered a set of utterly raging and totally inspiring hardcore. 

What often gets overlooked with Sick Of It All is the fact that this isn’t just one-dimensional hardcore punk. Bull’s Anthem goes full Dropkick Murphy’s punch-drunk bar room singalong, and Always With Us is a brilliant and emotionally stirring half time chugged ode to lost friends. 

So, although they might have sounded better on, say, Scratch The Surface, Sick Of It All have always sounded better than 99% of their peers… and they still do.

For Fans Of: Murphy’s Law, Agnostic Front, Madball

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.