When we chatted with Shimon Moore, formerly of Sick Puppies earlier this summer, he talked about fear, but also about freedom. Even though he has sold millions of records and toured all over the world, he was worried about the future of his career. Not whether or not he could deliver new songs as a solo artist, but how his fans would accept him now. Based on his new solo album, SHIM, he had no reason to fear at all. Not only has he brought with him his penchant for infectious hooks and rocking songs, in some ways, going solo has helped him become much more than he ever was before.

Opening up a can of whoop-ass right out of the blocks, ‘A Brand New War’ will give you chills! An incredible punk rock workout with a hooky heavy metal riff! A sneering salvo to anyone who ever doubted him full of rock bravado. The chorus is huge and memorable. This is a great song to start the album and will go over huge live with its sing-along refrain and loads of “Jazz fingers” inspiring guitar work!

‘Secrets’ has the strut of Shim’s old band. A little swagger and swing go a long way in this case, and I don’t even mind that the track is a more on the pop side of pop rock. Fun is the key here on this album. This should be a big radio hit with crossover potential. ‘Our Time’ is the big inspirational jam. Big moods, heavy thoughts, and another anthem. There is an amazing string arrangement, a slick vocalize after the chorus and a subtle bumping beat. Songs like this, ‘Kaleidoscopes’, and the closer ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ channel the best moments of mellower Linkin Park, and hit you right in the feels by design.


Shim promised us great songs, but he also said it would be different. Imagine if Justin Timberlake and Cage The Elephant all jammed, like a bluesy take on Depeche Mode? Well, that is ‘Crucified’ in a nutshell. All of this and we only get to the hit single ‘Hallelujah’ in the middle of the album. It’s always a good sign when the single is only the second or third best song. The track is still sticking to me months after I first heard it.

‘Fearless’ and ‘All of Me’ brings more of that lyrical weight in the form. Not too heavy, but solid. ‘Sting Like A Bitch’ brings back that attitude. Using a piano vamp and a bassy voice, the sex appeal comes to the fore. Between the fierce opening cut and this beat-heavy jam is where he should keep living. Late album track ‘Broken Man’ even sees Shim rap on a poppy track.

Really discovering himself and his talent all over again, and not being afraid to mess with a lot of styles and take risks, this is a really fine solo debut. The playing and singing is top notch, and the production across all of the tracks is tight. If you were a fan of his previous work, or just looking for something new and lasting in rock music, this album is for you. Welcome to freedom Shim.