Album Review: Sick Puppies – Polar Opposite
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Record Label: Virgin Records
Australian rock trio Sick Puppies released Polar Opposite on March 1st. The eight-song release, produced by Rock Mafia, features re-imagined tracks from their smash sophomore release Tri-Polar as well “All the Same” from their 2007 album Dressed Up as Life. I’ve seen Polar Opposite referred to as an acoustic EP, but the official description of “re-imagined tracks” is much more accurate. Unplugged, this is not. Other than swapping out the electric guitar for an acoustic, the album’s production is fairly heavy handed.
On “Don’t Walk Away” Emma Anzai adds more vocals. She has a great voice so it’s good to hear her sing. Although, it’s hard to say if it’s actually her voice or a computer approximated pitch-perfect interpretation of what her voice sounds like. Shimon Moore’s vocals have a similar treatment. In short, the production sounds like shit.
The version of “White Balloons” is probably the track most similar to the album version. It sounds OK, but the vocals are again over-processed. “So What I Lied,” the last track on the this release, is also the best track on the release. Moore actually put some of the guts and emotion into the song, which is lacking in the other tracks.
The sticker on the Polar Opposite disc should read “coming soon to an AC radio station near you.” Which is fine if you like AC radio, but this sounds like someone gave butter knives to an act used to working with X-Actos; there’s just no edge. Sick Puppies’ writing is solid, their musicianship is above par, and their live performances ignite the crowds. My sharpest criticism of their last studio album, Tri-Polar, is that the production is missing much of the charm heard on Dressed Up as Life. Now with Polar Opposite, it’s like someone took an eraser and blurred every remaining edge of the band’s music. If I wanted a Miley Cyrus album, I’d go buy one.
- “You’re Going Down”
- “Odd One”
- “Don’t Walk Away”
- “All the Same”
- “White Balloons”
- “So What I Lied”