Sick Puppies
Dressed Up as Life


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
June 7th, 2008 | 38 replies | 9,610 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aussie trio take a detour and finally find their sound, resulting in a rather impressive & consistent album containing good musicianship, hooks & catchy sing-along qualities.

Just like people will often have to move overseas to further their career in whatever their chosen trade is, musical artists will have to do exactly the same thing. Sick Puppies are a trio originally from Sydney - Australia who have now been plying their trade for almost a decade, yet are still relatively young. Beginning as a cross between the rap-rock of Limp Bizkit, the grunge of Silverchair and a little bit of Alt-Metal thrown into the mix, their debut album ('Welcome To The Real World') and subsequent EP ('Fly') contained many weaknesses and were efforts that were sure to date rather quickly.

The band now predominantly bases themselves in America. In Sick Puppies case, it is a country which not only allows their style to be appreciated more (as their style of music is not especially popular to the masses in Australia), but also allows their music to be controlled and produced much better than previously. The resultant album 'Dressed Up As Life' ultimately proves their decision to be a successful one as the improvements shown here are arguably one of the biggest leaps forward by a band over the course of a few years.

Right from the opening track 'My World', Sick Puppies impress and show the positive steps they have taken in multiple facets of their music. This 2nd single is very well structured and produced in piecing together all the band's musical elements. Harmonies are apparent in the almost spoken-word verses, while the melodic chorus is also very good. It proves that lead man Shimon Moore has finally got his at times cringe-worthy vocals under control and the results are pleasing. Even here, when he gets all intense, (the "kicking... screaming" end of the chorus as well as the end of track screaming) it is not over-used and ends up all the more effective because of it.

The other album highlight is 1st single (track 6) 'All The Same'. A ballad of sorts, this is also excellently structured. It effectively begins acoustically up until the 2nd chorus when it is joined by an electric guitar to take things up a notch. Once more, controlled vocals for the most part are successful, while the intensity in Moore's voice as the track nears its conclusion suit the relationship break-up lyrics perfectly. Up-tempo tracks 'Cancer' and 'Deliverance' are highlighted by very good choruses, but also contain good musicianship all around. What are especially likeable about these 2 songs are the way drums, guitar & bass all get their moments to shine, but are not allowed to over-power the song (similarly to what occurred on the band's earlier releases).

While the album is arguably front-loaded, there are some interesting tracks towards the end of the album also. 'Howards Tale' may top them as it is dark and moody to effectively add some variety to the mix. It also begins a trio of songs where the lyrical theme of parenting appears to play a strong part, as it is followed by the strangely catchy 'A$$hole Father' and the weird mish-mash of 'Issues'. Also effective in providing something different is the closer 'The Bottom', which reminds me very much of a few tracks off The Used's 'Lies for the Liars' in that there is a nice hook to it that will likely have you singing along to the catchy chorus.

Radio rock is also accounted for here by tracks 4 and 11. While they both may be viewed a little ho-hum in isolation, 'What Are You Looking For' and 'Anywhere But Here' should grow on you as their choruses are both especially catchy. The band actually pull off the sound surprisingly well as nothing in their past has suggested a more standard mainstream feel at all. In a way, these type of songs somehow provide good variety and that is what is maybe the most pleasing aspect about 'Dressed Up As Life'; The fact that even the album track's are decent and do not drag the album down.

To say that this is a much improved effort from Sick Puppies is an understatement. While the band's weaknesses still sneak a look in every now and then, the production and overall control exhibited by the band keep their appearances to a minimum. There is almost a leaning towards emo rock present here and while non-fans of the genre may still feel this is rather average, 'Dressed Up As Life' should please a wider variety of music lovers than previous releases by the band. There is simply too much good musicianship, hooks and catchy sing-along qualities to ignore. This could be a band on the rise and finally making their mark on the scene simply because they have found their sound.

Recommended Tracks: All The Same, My World, Cancer & The Bottom.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AtavanHalen
June 7th 2008


17927 Comments


This review gets a free hug.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha. I was really tempted to mention the "free hugs campaign" in the review somewhere, but I actually believe it to be fairly irrelevant and it may have taken away the positives of the album that I was trying to get across. Many bands do many different promotional things to get noticed at first. I hope you don't see them as sellouts for sort of fleeing your home state.This Message Edited On 06.07.08

AtavanHalen
June 7th 2008


17927 Comments


Money-hungry pigs.
Not really, can't blame them.

citizeninsane
June 8th 2008


131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is pretty good....and i usually dont fall for a band like this.

..they kind of remind me of chevelle...(another band in which i was suprised that i liked...)

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Telling comment CITIZENINSANE. I think that there are many people out there whose initial assumption is that they will not like this album, yet if they give it a go & keep an open mind, they will be pleasantly surprised as you were.

Lostandfound2
June 10th 2008


271 Comments


Where the fuck is MY
review??!!??

Lostandfound2
June 10th 2008


271 Comments


Both this and my black tide review vanished....FUCK!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

LOSTANDFOUND2, there was a database crash mid-May and all reviews written & posted between March-1 & then were lost. Be lucky that you only lost 2 reviews, as I lost 23. You can repost them if you still have them somewhere. Otherwise, try finding the cached page on a google search and then repost them.

Lostandfound2
July 8th 2008


271 Comments


thanks


Vooligan
January 13th 2009


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

was listening to this today on the train, forgot how cool it was.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed Billy. Reading back over my review, I guess it sounds more like a 4... But I'm happy with a 3.5 overall... I suppose I couldn't get over how much they had improved from their earlier releases. I genuinely anticipate their next release to see if they can take another step up.

Vooligan
January 19th 2009


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Davey, their first releases sucked anus. But yeah its a good album to chuck on every once in a while. Yeah his voice is decent as well.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed Billy... It's one of those carefree listens that you don't really want to be investigating with a microscope, but is (for want of a better word) enjoyable when listening to on occasions.
As for Shimon's (oh God, that name) voice, it is such a fine line between him sounding really good or really bad. Thankfully, he learnt to control it more here & knows when to change his tone for the betterment of the individual song.

OpethFreak
January 21st 2009


391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brilliant album that all there is to say...Cancer is one of my favorite songs ever!!! So fuckin brilliant.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well I wouldn't quite say "brilliant" and I definitely wouldn't rate this a 5, but we are all entitled to our opinion. 'Cancer' is the best of the non-big 2 singles.

Fugue
January 21st 2009


7353 Comments


all reviews written & posted between March-1 & then were lost.


I lost 23.


you wrote 23 reviews in one month?!?!?



Douchebag
January 21st 2009


3624 Comments


I think it's kinda funny that these guys are originally from Australia, yet besides the free hugs gimmick, we never hear from them.
Maybe if they work with Timbaland we will

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah Ross, the database crash happened in mid-May & I began reviewing March-1. I've pretty much always posted every 3rd day, hence 10 reviews a month. Yeah, I know... I'm a machine! :-)
I sort of don't blame them Croc. That's why I actually started my review on that topic. It's sort of like asking "Whether or not KissChasy would be a better and/or more successful band if they based themselves in the U.S. I think it's fair to state that the band's genre just doesn't sell all that well down under.

AtavanHalen
January 21st 2009


17927 Comments


WELCOME, BABEHHHHHHHH

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As Madison Avenue sang; "Don't call me Babehhhhhh"



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