Or see my newest defense after a flurry of posts from the Sick Puppies Fans. Click here!
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Sick Puppies – Tri-Polar – EMI/Virgin Records
One of the many acts to come out of Australia, Sick Puppies (heaven forbid, what a morbid band name) is the band best known for their song “All The Same” which accompanied the YouTube hit video for “Free Hugs.” This one video has over 47 million views and the song instantly became a hit. Sick Puppies are back with their newest album; “Tri-Polar” which was a Billboard Top 40 hit when it was recently in mid-July.
Those who enjoyed “All The Same” will probably not like the first track on “Tri-Polar” entitled “War.” Sick Puppies have developed and grown into a heavier, thicker sound. Filled with a driving guitar rift and lots of attempted screaming and growling, the track comes off much like a Papa Roach or Three Days Grace song. The second track, “I Hate You,” follows suit with the first straying even farther away from the original cute image associated with the band that provided the song for a Free Hugs video.
After two tracks of a heavy music, Sick Puppies gives us something new to try. With sweeping drum fills and more melodic chorus, “Rip Tide,” provides the listener with a lighter song, along the lines of Switchfoot and the pop rock of the radio and the Billboard Top 40. Unfortunately it quickly fades leaving the song seemingly incomplete. Right away we move into another track with distorted guitars and more screaming. Sick Puppies seem to be stuck to this new direction they have chosen, with blinders stuck on. You get sucked into hoping that they might provide with you with a softer track, as in “Odd One,” but the intro is misleading and it turns out to be just like every other song on the CD. On “Don’t Walk Away,” the distortion is turned down, and the dissonance between the acoustic and the bass line it the verse makes it a little hard to listen to, but not uncomfortable enough to turn off.
The entire CD seems shrouded with a dark tone that bleeds through into every track. They all start with a softer intro, and get you excited for something different, then come the heavy guitars, and then a chorus, and then it ends with a repeat of the soft intro. This becomes really irritating after about the fourth song. Some of the lyrics seemed very contrived and you get the sense that the band is trying so very hard to get the little “Parental Advisory – Explicit Content” sticker on their CD. Tri-Polar was a difficult album for me to get into. Most of the tracks are indistinguishable from one another. For those who enjoy this kind of rock, the likes of Seether and Trapt will enjoy this record. For those who enjoyed the Sick Puppies from the “Free Hugs” video, avoid this one.