Sick Puppies - Dressed Up As Life
In case you haven't heard of the Free Hugs Campaign, I thought now might be a good time to plug it. And if you haven't heard of Sick Puppies, you should have. They're a rock group from Australia that somewhat defies classification, other than to say they're great to listen to. There's some influences from Linkin Park (sans turntables), there's a little Muse (sans fantasy themes and epic feel) thrown in, and stylistically they're probably most like Lovehammers, but with slightly more edge. Then thrown in the occasional passage that is reminiscent of another down under band - The Living End. This record runs the gamut from straight-up rock to ballads to really crunchy riffs with absolutely killer bass lines from Emma Anzai, one of the best young female players I've heard. Meanwhile, vocalist (and guitarist) Shimon switches seamlessly from a falsetto to a growl and overall has a very smooth timbre when singing in the middle of his range. Song lyrics trend towards the darker side of the human experience, but I think most people can identify with the feelings of emptiness, loss, or hopelessness being conveyed with some point in their own lives. Bottom line - this record is fantastic and one of the best albums I've picked up in a long time.