Because it introduced itself to U.S. audiences by way of a hug felt 'round the world (check out the heavily downloaded video to first single "All the Same"), it's hard to think of Sick Puppies as all that sick. But the Australian band's approach to music is hard and swift, and its fully unbuttoned songs reach toward hard rock's metal edges with intelligence and something like grace. While "Cancer" arrives at a not unlikable growly place, "What Are You Looking For" unravels the kind of pretty melodicism that wouldn't sound completely wrong on a Coldplay disc. "All the Same," meanwhile, is an energetic love song that, explicitness aside, should translate across the generations, and "Deliverance" dabbles in the kind of angsty post-punk you might expect to find on a My Chemical Romance disc. The Puppies are hard-chargers -- they get into a song and work it up in a way that seems distinctly American. Count on Dressed Up as Life scoring as many converts here as the red-hot-at-home Puppies have down under.
AllMusic Review by Tammy La Gorce