CD Reviews

Sumo Cyco - 'Opus Mar' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 04, 2017    
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Showcases a highly inventive creative mantra that may be too disconcerting for those who prefer a less challenging experience.

Sumo Cyco is a Female-Fronted four-piece from Toronto. 'Opus Mar', produced by Matt Drake (illScarlett) and James Loughrey (Skindred, Joss Stone), is the band's sophomore release and follows 2014's 'Lost In Cyco City'. Front-woman Sever is the alter ego of former Pop star Skye Sweetnam who signed to Capitol Records when aged only fourteen but left the label after several years to concentrate on a totally different musical direction.

SC take a novel approach to releasing music and have recorded and released over a dozen digital singles alongside Grindhouse-esque movie videos. They have toured with Mushroomhead, Butcher Babies, Alien Ant Farm and Fozzy and, by the time you read this, will have embarked on their first co-headline tour of the UK with Devilskin.

First impressions are that '...Mar' is slightly less commercial than the debut and things take longer to resonate. The musical style is probably more Punk than Rock, but overall it is rather unique. Try to imagine No Doubt on steroids with a more manic version of Gwen Stefani at the microphone. The songs are high energy, frantic almost, and full of attitude and the listener is left feeling dizzy and exhausted after just one play.

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A host of programmed elements embellish the sound but the core guitar/bass/drums set-up is, in essence, the primary driving force behind the delivery. The arrangements are in no way generic and never follow the basic verse/chorus/verse chorus formula. This can prove to be detrimental at times as there is the tendency to force too many ideas into each song. The performances are good throughout and Sever certainly makes an impression with some intense (but never harsh) vocals.

My main criticism is that the pace never really lets up and the urgent intensity dominates, as though the band are racing to finish each song, most of which have the same tempo. There is a sense of déjà vu as the album progresses and, at thirteen tracks, it is maybe two too many.

'Opus Mar' showcases a highly inventive creative mantra that may be too disconcerting for those who prefer a less challenging experience, meaning it may not appeal to many Fireworks & Rocktopia readers. Having said that, Sumo Cyco have certainly made an impact in a short space of time, resulting in the PledgeMusic campaign for the album reaching 249% of its goal.

Dave Bott

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