At its core Sick Puppies' apathetic post-grunge and anger-fueled nü-metal isn't that original. The arrangements and themes incorporated by the LA-via-Australia trio are similar to those used by other popular modern rockers such as Chevelle, Shinedown or Saliva. But Sick Puppies sets itself apart with larger-than-life studio production from Antonina Armato and Tim James (Miley Cyrus, Aly & AJ) and quirky video concepts (the group is best known for providing the soundtrack to the über-popular YouTube video for the Free Hugs campaign). "You're Going Down" and "Street Fighter War," from this year's Tri-Polar are even denser than its past work: Drop-tuned guitars stand like two towering, immovable columns of sound in either ear, leaving just enough room for Shimon Moore's angst-ridden vocals to force their way straight up the gut.
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