Thursday 23 March 2017

Album Review: SUMO CYCO - Opus Mar

Sumo Cyco - Opus Mar Signed CD cover
01. Anti-Anthem
02. Free Yourself
03. Move Mountains (Featuring Benji Webbe)
04. Passengers
05. Brave II
06. Sleep Tight
08. Kids Of Calamity
09. Won't Put Me Out
10. Words
11. The Broadcasters (Murdering By Radio)
12. Rally
13. Building Castles

It's no secret that I fucking love Sumo Cyco. Opus Mar is their second album and I picked up a copy at their recent gig in Manchester (Click HERE to read my review of the show). I'm pleased and not unsurprised to say that it is awesome. Their debut album Lost in Cyco City is excellent, but this new one, whilst in a very similar musical vein, is even better.

No other band out there sounds quite like Sumo Cyco. They have this cleverly honed style of Punk Rock mixed with splashes of Reggae, Hardcore, Pop and Metal that works so naturally, they make most of the Nu-Metal Crossover bands of yesteryear sound awkward and contrived in comparison. When it comes to splicing heavy music with other genres, this is as good as it gets. I think Sumo Cyco's ace card is their ability to write a good catchy song. They seem incapable of writing a boring or misdirected song! There are very few bands on the scene who consistently produce songs of this standard, yet Sumo Cyco make it sound easy. They draw on an array of influences, but manage to retain their own sound, and every song they do is teeming with fresh ideas and youthful exuberance.

Opus Mar is one of those wonderful albums that is 'all killer, no filler' and clocking in at just under 50 minutes, is great to listen to all in one go. I've had the album on repeat in the car for a few days now, and not only do I still love it, I don't find myself skipping any tracks. For this reason, choosing favourites has been extremely difficult. Opener Anti-Anthem is a slammin', bouncin' slab of genius and a great introduction to the band for anyone about to check them out for the first time. Strangely enough, when I heard their first album, one band they reminded me of in places was Skindred. Now on this new album, Skindred's lead singer Benji Webbe is featured on the track Move Mountains. Setting this collaboration up was a masterstroke as Benji's vocal style works perfectly, and this track will surely appeal to both bands' fan-bases. Kids of Calamity sounds like Gwen Stefani jamming with Anti-Flag, in yet another high octane winner. Lead singer Sever (AKA Skye Sweetnam) dominates the record with her captivating vocals that switch with ease between melodic singing, rapping, and occasional screams all delivered with passion and an air of professionalism that raises the bar in the scene. Brave II is a shining example of her vocal versatility as well as a great example of the band's pop sensibility, making rock music that has significant mainstream crossover potential.

Opus Mar is a creative, inspirational, and beautifully executed piece of work, and if there's any justice in the world, should catapult Sumo Cyco to Rock Superstardom. It's very possibly my favourite album of the year so far.


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