Connect Review

artist: Sick Puppies date: 07/29/2013 category: compact discs
Sick Puppies: Connect
Released: Jul 16, 2013
Genre: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
Label: Capitol
Number Of Tracks: 12
With "Connect," Sick Puppies are beginning to show some progression when it comes to their songwriting and overall style of sound.
 Sound: 5.5
 Lyrics: 6
 Overall Impression: 5.5
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reviews (2) 25 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7
Connect Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 18, 2013
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Australian rock band Sick Puppies first began capturing the attention of alternative metal fans worldwide in 2001, with the release of their debut album "Welcome to the Real World." This album showed the band setting up the foundations for their signature sound; however, it wasn't until eight years later than Sick Puppies would break into the mainstream airwaves. Their third studio album, titled "Tri-Polar," spawned a number of hit singles for the band, including "Maybe" and "You're Going Down," the latter of which was adopted by the WWE to be used as the official theme song for Extreme Rules 2009. It was with this album in particular that Sick Puppies stuck to a more significant, rhythm guitar-oriented style, and this redirection in sound ultimately paid off of the band. Four years following the release of "Tri-Polar," Sick Puppies are marking their return to the music scene with their new studio album. The new album, titled "Connect," shows the band continuing in the same musical direction that previously brought them noticeable commercial success. However instead of simply rehashing a collection of songs that sound like cheap knock offs of their earlier works, Sick Puppies also attempts to expand upon their sound by combining new elements into the batch. We take a bold first look into the album with it's lead single, "There's No Going Back." As the song slowly builds up through the first verse, you hear the same factors that comprised the band's previous hits, such as the equally layered combination of pulsating bass playing and acoustic guitar. However, Sick Puppies have now incorporated group backup vocals into their style, which despite being a factor that the majority of mainstream artists have been adding to their music does benefit the song as a whole. The band manages to add new factors which strengthen the total atmosphere of the album, while still tying in some familiarity to their earlier albums and still sounds like themselves. Although I would have liked to have Sick Puppies further expand upon their style, what we have in front of us with "Connect" is still a good compilation of new compositions that established fans should have no trouble appreciating. // 7

Lyrics: Lead vocalist Shimon Moore doesn't try and do anything new, bold or creative with his singing style throughout this new album. Which I suppose is a good thing, especially considering that the rest of the band is beginning to add new elements to their style of sound. When you begin to dabble in experimenting musically, such as adding group chants to the verse line of a song, you need to have some factor that ties you back to the band's earlier releases. And in the case of Sick Puppies, Shimon Moore is this factor. // 7

Overall Impression: All in all, Sick Puppies give an overall good performance throughout their new studio album, "Connect." While they didn't tamper with their take on different musical genres, they are beginning to show some progression with their songwriting and overall sound while also remaining true to the signature sound that comprised their earlier works. If you are an established fan of Sick Puppies, as well as a follower of the alternative metal scene in general, then this is an album that comes highly recommended.

// 7

- Lou Vickers (c) 2013

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overall: 4.3
Connect Reviewed by: bluesrocker137, on july 29, 2013
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: With the release of "Connect," we see Sick Puppies abandon the sound which we came to love for one that's more commercially friendly. Not in the style of previous hits such as "Maybe" and "All the Same," where the typically overdriven guitar is traded for an acoustic and the overall sound is a softer one, but rather a sound which is more suited for a pop station than a rock one. Autotune is abundant, and heard on almost every song. On this record, even the catchy riffs have been taken out. To be fair, "Gunfight" features one of the best riffs the band has ever created, and "Die to Save You" isn't far behind. "Walking Away" has a catchy riff as well, but that's the extent of it. Even Emma's basslines have suffered. While there are still moments of genius scattered throughout the album, they've been dulled down just like everything else. // 4

Lyrics: Shimon Moore's vocals have been a very consistent factor in Sick Puppies' music since the very beginning. However on "Connect" they've suffered. Not as a result of his skill level, but rather as a result of every digital effect the studio had being thrown on top. Not only autotune (although there's quite a bit of it), but other effects as well. We hear some sort of distortion style effect on top on his vocals in "Gunfight," a mistake that ruins an otherwise very solid song. For a large part of the album, his signature edge has been removed. For a polished and pop-like sound instead. In "Die to Save You" and "Under a Very Black Sky," Emma sings some lead, but her brief exposure leaves us questioning "Why not more!?" Her vocals are excellent, it would have been nice if she was featured more. There is a good bit of time when Emma and Shimon both sing, but it seems almost as if they conflict. Fighting for who stands out rather than harmonizing. Lyrically, don't expect anything brilliant. "Gunfight" is catchy and the lyrics will get stuck in your head, but there is nothing outstanding here. // 5

Overall Impression: This is easily the most forgettable rock album I've heard in a long time. When "There's No Going Back" came out, I was worried Sick Puppies turned into another run of the mill pop band. When "Gunfight" and "Die to Save You" debuted, I was a bit more hopeful. However looking at the whole album I see only 3 songs that I would actually pay to have. Those are "Gunfight," "Die to Save You," and "Poison." This is the worst album Sick Puppies has had since the original "Welcome to the Real World." Honestly, it might actually be even worse. The only hope here is that the band realizes that the entire album was a mistake, and corrects themselves with the next. Otherwise, it isn't looking very good at all for Sick Puppies. // 4

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