1. Die to Save You
2. There’s No Going Back
3. Walking Away
6. Where Did the Time Go
7. Telling Lies
10. The Trick the Devil Did
11. Healing Now
12. Under a Very Black Sky
Sick Puppies is a band from Australia. The three piece hard rock outfit went largely unnoticed by the mainstream until 2006 when their song “All The Same” was uploaded on YouTube along with a video for the Free Hugs Campaign launched in Sydney, Australia. The following year they released Dressed Up As Life, which launched them into a larger audience. Very well received, it spawned four singles, three of which charted on the Modern Rock chart. However, the release of their album Tri-Polar cemented their mainstream recognition. With highly praised singles like You’re Going Down, Odd One, Riptide, and Maybe, Sick Puppies put out their best performing album to date. Fast forward 4 years later and Sick Puppies is back with their latest effort “Connect.” While it took more than a few listens to fully appreciate that this could possibly be one of the best rock albums of the year.
Each song has a meaning or a special trait. Right from the get-go with the powerful and emotional Die To Save You, you’re drawn in quick. It’s a song of wanting to save someone, but they have to save themselves in the end. A tale of self-empowerment. The storytelling in There’s No Going Back is a track that a lot of people can relate to, which is something that Sick Puppies has a knack of doing with any song they release. Walk Away is about fighting to keep a relationship alive when it feels lost, and never giving up when it gets tough. I feel that track will be a crowd favorite with the energy it gives off.
Gunfight is one of my favorites, and it’s very politically charged. I wanna go into a little detail with this. Starting off, Shimon sings about the “the white men winning the west” and not caring what they had done. Following that up, it hits on Kevin Bacon and his financial issues. A jab at the hidden strife of the Indians and the celebrity curse of finances. The next verse is a story of congress, and while you can blame Bush or even Obama for your problems, it’s simply put as “you should’ve fucking learned from your daddy or your momma” how to fix it. Finally, a story of Tienanmen Square and the Chinese sweatshops. The song states that life isn’t fair, and that you can’t change that.
Poison is a slower paced song of love and how much it could hurt. This is another emotional track, and I feel like it might be played acoustically at some shows. Where Did The Time Go is a feeling of life going to fast and the time you have not being enough. Telling Lies is eerily calm to start, detailing a wedding scene. The song meaning is stated in the chorus: “We’re all getting by telling lies” and “Everyone we love is telling lies.” The title track tells of just wanting to connect with someone on a personal level. Run is a life question: What would you do if you ran out of time? Just run and never stop. Don’t let the world keep you down. Live your life like you will die tomorrow. The Trick The Devil Did is fighting to keep yourself and not giving in. Fighting the devil is a metaphor for that. Healing Now is a song of the calm after the storm. The rain that comes and cleanses everyone, healing them. Under A Very Black Sky is yet another powerful track. The chorus chants of the track name is eerie and haunting. The track as a whole is haunting and just an amazing finish.
The vocals and lyrical content is amazing. With vocals from both Shimon and Emma, the album has a balance and a feel they’ve yet to deliver until now. Emma gets full vocals on the last track, and her voice is simply haunting yet enchanting. Shimon improves yet again. And overall this is some of the best lyrical work I’ve heard from a rock record this year. The instrumental work is also very well done, and is very cohesive with the vocals. Very rarely do you get such cohesion on such a godly level.
So the verdict? Each track has a unique feel and vibe. With improvement in every category, from the lyrics and vocals to the instrumentals, Connect is the follow-up that Tri-Polar deserved, and the best record from Sick Puppies since the highly praised Dressed Up As Life. Be sure to pick this up as soon as you can, cause I promise you will NOT be disappointed.
The verdict: 9.75/10