All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go
After years of covering the likes of Silverchair, Green Day and Rage Against the Machine, the Sick Puppies finally decided to make their own metallic guitar rock. They took their time crafting 2007’s Dressed Up as Life after a self-released debut six years earlier, but despite a few standouts, that time spent polishing the new tunes has failed to make them more original or interesting than their predecessors.Having said that, the lyrical content is surprisingly emotional stuff. Deadbeat dads, cancer, and relationships provide Moore with plenty to sing about. Single “All the Same” is as listenable as any alt-rock of the ’00s, provoking “Awww” reflexes with lyrics suggesting that underneath it all, we’re all the same. For this song’s video, lead singer/guitarist Shimon Moore filmed Juan Mann’s “Free Hugs” campaign, chopped up the footage and laid it over their first single. Mann loved it and put it on YouTube (38 million views strong now). “Cancer” and “What Are You Looking For” are two other standouts that manage to stay in your head for quite a few hours. However, this relatively short record (12 songs in 45 minutes) is missing those down-tempo reflections or ultra-fast thrashers to change up the pace.
Moore capably mans this ship with his strong voice and guitar chops, but he too often navigates it into previously charted, luke-warm waters. Creed has been here before, as have Fallout Boy and Dashboard Confessional. Dressed Up as Life is far from a bad listen. You’ve just already heard it on the radio and changed the channel.