Instead of a metal sound, these songs tend to lean into the pop rock
Rich must be feeling pretty good. Why do I assume so much, you ask? Well, when musicians are in an overall good mood for a while they can have a tendency to write songs that are to, for or about women. They sound that way, at least.
If you're not familiar with Rich Ward's past, I'll note that he was a member of the rap-metal band Stuck Mojo. During his time there he had written melodic songs that didn't quite fit into the Stuck Mojo style. After the group disbanded, Rich formed the band Fozzy with pro wrestler Chris Jericho and created Sick Speed as an outlet for his newer melodic stuff.
Sick Speed's 2002 demo is definitely a different direction for him. Instead of a metal sound, these songs tend to lean into the pop rock sound of bands like 3 Doors Down or even Matchbox 20. I think Rich does these songs as well as any of the other bands, maybe even better. All those other pseudo-rock bands do the same damn thing--they strum some guitar and moan some lyrics until the chorus when they hit a few power chords and start yelling some junk that is supposed to be catchy. I hate that weak shit.
Rich has a good, smooth voice and he lets the songs carry themselves along without trying to rush to the choruses. "Back To You" is a perfect Top 40 hit and the others play out pretty well except for maybe "Matter of Faith" which to me was more a "Matter of Sleep". My only critism would be that the vocal delivery seems to be the same throughout most of the cd and the songs don't always distinguish themselves.
Why Sick Speed hasn't been signed, I don't know. Maybe it's the name?