Music News

Sick Puppies

Although viral marketing has improved the condition of Sick Puppies, the cure may not be permanent. The Aussie band's attempts to break in the States were going nowhere when singer/guitarist Shimon Moore combined footage of performance artist Juan Mann, who offered "Free Hugs" to passersby, with a power ballad called "All the Same" as a gesture of sympathy for Mann, who was mourning the death of his grandmother. Mann subsequently posted the clip on YouTube, where it racked up over 10 million views — a groundswell that convinced Virgin Records to adopt the Puppies and take the video mainstream. These efforts have bolstered sales of Dressed Up as Life, the group's U.S. debut. Trouble is, the disc aspires to a combination of hard rock and emo on cuts such as "Asshole Father," and the performers' credibility with fans of these styles probably won't be enhanced by their status as the most embraceable boys on MTV. By the end of the Puppies' tour with Flyleaf, Kill Hannah and Resident Hero, they may be all hugged out.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts