ALBUM REVIEW: Can’t ‘Connect’ to Sick Puppies

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First Posted: 7/22/2013

The Sick Puppies always seem to be caught between two genres. The group’s first major label release, “Dressed Up as Life,” came off as a hard rock album, yet contained enough angst and rebellion hidden under the surface that punk rock fans were able to take notice.

The band then released “Tri-Polar” and may have slipped off the edge a bit, writing more modern, radio-rock and strayed away from the emotion that so many desired.

Now, the band has dropped their third album, “Connect,” and it seems they have decided to follow in the path of “Tri-Polar.”

“Connect’s” first single, “There’s No Going Back” is complete with an inoffensive and boring lead guitar riff that that could be heard on an acoustic guitar player’s album. The chorus is filled with “whoa oh oh” backing vocals and is overall just a typical Nickelback-like mainstream rock song.

The Sick Puppies do get a little convoluted, as the opening track, “Die to Save You,” has a grungy feel to it as vocalist Shimon Moore shares the mic with female vocalist Emma Anzai.

Anzai appears through out the album, and on the best track “Under a Very Black Sky,” her innocent vocals match the dark tone of the song perfectly. Her voice only appears on four of the 12 tracks.

Overall, the music just sounds stale and tired, which is not good for a band that used to play with such emotion. Lackluster songs like “Where Did the Time Go” and “Poison” sound more like B-sides off “Tri-Polar” than new material, and they take away from the appeal of “Connect.”

Previous fans may like the path the Sick Puppies are taking, but new listeners will likely not be pleased. This is more of an album you skim through to find a few hidden gems and leave the rest of the tracks alone, as they sound like they have been written by every other modern rock band out there.

Sick Puppies ‘Connect’ Rating: W W

-Matt Morgis, Weekender Correspondent