There is something instantly likable about Sumo Cyco but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the ska/dancehall-infused metal they create that’s like a hybrid of No Doubt and Korn. Maybe it’s charismatic vocalist Sever’s distinct vocal style that at times soothes like kidneythieves’ Free Dominguez or Sneaker Pimps’ Kelli Ali and at others rages like Angela Gossow’s reign in Arch Enemy. Maybe it’s just the great, catchy songs that make up Sumo Cyco’s debut Lost in Cyco City. Whatever the magic answer is, there’s no denying that Sumo Cyco stands out from the rest of the musical dumbfuckery that often pollutes the market today.
There hasn’t been such an accessible female-fronted heavy outfit like this in some time so the instant “The Ugly” really hits it’s like a breath of musical fresh air. On the first song alone, Sever displays a ridiculous vocal range that is only made more powerful by the strength of bandmates Thor, Wolf, and M.D. If you want something a little more straightforward then try “Go Go Go” on for size and try not to bounce up and down when listening. Single “Fighter is a sonic tour-de-force catapulted into the heavy stratosphere by M.D.’s riffs and Wolf’s sick snares. And speaking of Sumo Cyco’s resident skin basher, Wolf really earns his keep on the beat-driven “Cry Murder” which features pit-ready riffs and plenty of live show sing-a-long moments (Which you can experience for yourself at select Warped shows this summer. Dates here).
If this is your first introduction to Sumo Cyco, you’ll find plenty to like as either a Pop music or heavy metal fan. Or both! Because being a well-rounded music fan makes all the difference. “Fuel My Fire” straddles that line perfectly and goes through so many gorgeously structured movements that you’ll need to keep checking that you’re listening to the same song still. Elsewhere, the turntable beginnings of “We Ride” is a trojan horse to a song that is instead the most epic anthem and the sound of Sneaker Pimps if they ventured into Pop rock territory instead of trip-hop.
Even later in the album songs like “Brave” embrace the heavier side of Pop with Thor’s bass bounce riding underneath while shredding is the name of the game on “Get Off”. But if you want a riff rager with even more sweet Sever vocal moments then try out closer “My Name Is Rock N Roll”.
Lost in Cyco City is out on June 10th. Head on over to Sumo Cyco’s Facebook page here to see where you can get your copy.