Sick Puppies are an alternative rock band originally from Sydney, Australia, formed in 1997 by Shimon Moore (vocals/guitar) and Emma Anzai (bass/backing vocals). Mark Goodwin (drums) joined in 2003, replacing former member Chris Mileski, after the band relocated to Los Angeles. Sick Puppies are best known for their 2009 hit “You’re Going Down” as well as for their 2006 song “All the Same” which was used as the theme for Juan Mann’s Free Hugs Campaign video on Youtube. In October 2014, Shimon Moore left Sick Puppies and was eventually replaced by Bryan Scott for the band’s 5th studio album Fury, released on May 20, 2016.
Dressed Up As Life (2007). 12 tracks. Choice cuts: “All the Same”, “What Are You Looking For”, “My World”. Other good cuts: “Too Many Words”, “Deliverance”, “Pitiful”, “Cancer”, “Howard’s Tale”, “Asshole Father”. The rest: “Issues”, “Anywhere But Here”, “The Bottom”.
Tri-Polar (2009). 13 tracks. Choice cuts: “You’re Going Down”, “Maybe”, “Don’t Walk Away”, “Riptide”. Other god cuts: “So What I Lied”, “Odd One”, “War”, “In It For Life”, “I Hate You”, “Master of the Universe”, “Should’ve Known Better”. The rest: “Survive”, “White Balloons”. Good B-side: “The Pretender”.
Note: “You’re Going Down” was used by the WWE as the official theme song for the pay-per-view event WWE Extreme Rules 2009 and the video game WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010.
Connect (2013). 12 tracks. Choice cuts: “There’s No Going Back”, “Healing Now”. Other good cuts: “Poison”, “Where Did the Time Go”, “Run”, “The Trick the Devil Did”, “Connect”, “Walking Away”, “Telling Lies”, “Under a Very Black Sky”. The rest: “Die To Save You”, “Gunfight”. Good B-side: “What Are You Thinking”.
Fury (2016). 11 Tracks. Choice cuts: “Stick To Your Guns”, “Just the Beginning”, “Where Do I Begin”. Other good cuts: “Black and Blue”, “Here With You”, “Let Me Live”, “Killing Time”, “Beautiful Chaos”, “Walls (You Changed)”. The rest: “If I Stay”, “Earth To You”.
My thoughts… I became obsessed with Sick Puppies back in early 2014. I wrote all about it (here). The catalyst for my obsession was an intention to simply do a post about the band’s beautiful (and talented) bass player Emma Anzai!
I was merely a casual fan of Sick Puppies up to that time. I liked “You’re Going Down” but nothing else ever really stuck. Then, when I re-listened to their music to inspire my post about Anzai, I kept finding song after song that I loved and, soon, I couldn’t believe that I had overlooked Sick Puppies for so long! My obsession settled long before I heard the news about Shim Moore leaving and being replaced, eventually, by Bryan Scott. I’ll admit that I was apprehensive about Sick Puppies with a new singer. Sure, Anzai was still there but Shim’s voice was part of the band’s charm. I think I would have been less apprehensive if Anzai herself had taken over as lead vocalist but, alas, she did not. Bryan Scott did. But, here’s the thing …
Fury is the best Sick Puppies album to date!!! Bryan Scott sometimes sounds like Shim Moore (“Stick To Your Guns”) and the new Sick Puppies sometimes sound like Three Days Grace (“Let Me Live”) but, mostly, Fury is a promising new beginning for the re-energized (formerly Aussie) band. The first single “Stick To Your Guns” is a typical Sick Puppies alt-rocker whose lyrics detail the band’s drive to continue on without frontman Shim Moore. The entire album, in fact, chronicles that journey. “Let Me Live” or “Black And Blue” will most likely follow as the second single. All good songs. However, Fury‘s best tracks are the anthemic rockers “Just the Beginning” and “Where Do I Begin” whose addictive hooks will be stuck in your head for days! I have to believe that those untypical Sick Puppies songs are the result of Bryan Scott’s influence. “Walls (You Changed)”, a ballad on which Emma Anzai takes on lead vocals, is obviously directed at her former bandmate. “Killing Time” and “Beautiful Chaos” are two more good rockers, while the closing track “Here With You” is an awesome radio-ready power ballad. Fury won’t change the world but, right now, it’s rockin’ mine! I’m already looking forward to the next Sick Puppies album!
P.S. I was listening to “Where Do I Begin” while I was writing this post. My 13-year-old daughter Gaby, who currently listens to artists like Sleeping With Sirens, Bring Me the Horizon and Andy Black, poked her head in to my office and asked, “Who are you listening to?” I told her. She smiled and said, “It’s pretty good.”
Shim will be missed but Sick Puppies are still going strong!