Sicko

Sicko in 1997, strapping young boys.
Sicko was a punk rock band that originated in Spokane Washington in 1991. The band had a eight year run and in that time they produced five 7 inch EPs and four full length albums all while doing multiple national and international tours. Their melodic poppy sound was unique at the time. In a sense they trail blazed a path for many more commercial bands to follow. Sicko and a handful of other bands set the stage for the pop punk/alternative wave that would continue til current day.

Sicko was a typical three piece, nothing fancy there, guitar, bass and drums. The bassist and guitarist would switch instruments often enough that neither of them claimed either instrument as their primary. The line up was the string section of Ean Hernandez and Denny Bartlett with Josh Rubin providing percussion. It was often the case where Ean and Denny would trade instruments in the middle of set each having their own primary songs. What set Sicko apart and made them fun for me was their lyrics and song subjects. Hardly the love ballad type band many of their songs were stories about being kids or even about seemingly mundane subjects like breakfast and computers. The result was an easily identifiable topic matter wrapped up in a extremely rocking way.

For all of Sicko’s achievements they attained limited critic acclaim and marginal commercial success. Critics would naively lump them in with other popular bands of the day in some cases presenting them as cheap knock offs rather then the real deal. It all had to do with the popularity of punk rock and the commoditization of the “alternative” scene in the mid nineties. Punk rock existed well before 1990 but in the mid nineties you had critics new to the scene presenting themselves as authorities and putting down acts simply because they weren’t familiar with them. In any event I think they made the best of it. Their four full length albums can be a bit tricky to get as they’ve been out of print for quite a while, although as it stands right this moment they can all be found on the used section on Amazon. If you want to check them out there really isn’t a bad one in the bunch, every album is rock solid from the first to last track.

1) You Can Feel the Love in this Room [1994]
2) Laugh While You Can Monkey Boy [1995]
3) Chef Boyrudum [1995]
4) You Are Not The Boss Of Me [1997]

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