It may come as a surprise to learn that Californian rap/dub metallers, P.O.D., were the biggest selling artistes on Atlantic Records' roster during 2002. On the back of this success, they were asked to write the lead single for the forthcoming blockbuster, The Matrix Reloaded, something which was made complicated by the fact that founding guitarist, Marcos Curiel, left just prior to recording.
Given that Marcos' replacement, Jason Truby used to be in thrash metal act, Living Sacrifice, one might have expected P.O.D. to venture into more musically unpalatable territory. Instead, Sleeping Awake is immediate in more ways than one. There is no intro; it kicks straight into a set of bruising guitar riffs and a staccato rhythm before unleashing a melodic chorus that rivals Alive (a top 20 UK hit in 2002) for stick-in-your-head, pure anthemic quality.
If Sleeping Awake is a pointer to Matrix Reloaded then we will have a great film sequel on our hands. More pertinently, if it is a sign of what is to come from P.O.D. then this great band is about to get even greater.