Sick Puppies

Virgin Records America, 2009

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Found it. You don’t have to look anymore. The Sick Puppies is the band that you’ve been looking for that consistently plays rock music with twinges of occasional punk and metal. They are a power trio which traditionally means that each instrument (bass, drums, guitar) is important and that is true here. I don’t like removing the Sick Puppies from my ears. Absent on this release are a lot of dizzying guitar parts or technically challenging parts. This results in easy-to-absorb melodies. Additionally, the lyrics are potent, cutting like a razor on the tongue. Shimon Moore is brutal in “Hate You” when he sings, “I know you think you hate me / But I will always hate you more.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But this is not run-of-the-mill, boring, angry music. That’s been done, but it is not present here. Instead, Moore’s guitar riffs are instantly memorable, laid over Emma Anzai’s bass and Mark Goodwin’s drumbeat. Opening track “War” is a definite call to arms, with Moore invoking a riot with his repeated lyrics that “This is war / And it never ends / Let’s do this / Fight!” When Moore is singing about relationships, though, is when the magic of this release feels real. “Don’t Walk Away” is more mellow than the other tracks. Moore sings, “I’m feeling so afraid / Because everything that I do lately makes you angry / I’ve never been so ashamed / It really felt like you and me were getting better / I hope you still want me / I hope it’s not too late.”

The song “Maybe” is getting a lot of airplay on my local rock radio station and for good reason. The song is an introspective journey into the way life can be led. Moore ponders at one point “Maybe I should just give up” in a song rich with open-ended questions that are not really answered with a clear-cut answer. That is the way life is. There are no guarantees. You make choices when they are presented to you and three months later, you live with the results of those choices. The only song that I just can’t sink my teeth into is the closer “White Balloons.” I understand the experimentation with Anzai’s vocals playing off of Moore’s, but it seems like a weak conclusion to an otherwise strong release.

I am glad to have done this service for you, finding a band like the Sick Puppies that will make you believe good music is available in our world.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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