Sumo Cyco is the sound of No Doubt fronted by Tairrie B. They’re heavy, they’re trendy, they’re genre-bending yet accessible and on Initiation, the Canadian quartet create the definitive Sumo Cyco album that cuts to the core of who they are and streamline their sound to bring listeners their best release yet.
The singles are gonna grab you, that’s a given so let’s label the opening trio of “Love You Wrong”, “Bystander”, and “Vertigo” as they are: the hooks to get you deeper into the Sumo Cyco world. And what a world it is! That’s not to dismiss those three by any means either as they’re all ragers in their own right but you’ve seen the stellar video treatments and been infected by their hypnotic sounds already so let’s focus on the delicious ice cream underneath the whipped cream and cherry on top, okay?
And that brings us to “Bad News” which is kind of like (Hed) P.E. at their peak (In my mind, that’s the self-titled through Blackout-era) as it treads this fine line between Nu-Metal and Old School Metal but kind of transcends both to create something even better. Skye Sweetnam’s bouncy delivery here is equal parts fierce, fiery, and fun while Matt “MD13” Drake is a veritable riff master with these thrashy start/stop call and response lines. “No Surrender” could be a modern Pop breakout and sounds like a throwback at the same time with Sweetnam channeling a lower bravado before opening up into the sweeping anthemic chorus with Matt “Trozzi” and Oscar Aneset’s rhythmic pulses coming out like The Police worshipping Heavy Metal.
“M.I.A.” is The Prodigy at their most psychosomatic (See what I did there?) with a Reggae undercurrent, “Cyclone” is a shredder with Drake’s riffage leading the way and then “Run With The Giants” is an interesting monster as Sweetnam gets her Kaiju on for a crushing chorus. Later, “Overdrive” is razor sharp with the sonics that Drake, Aneset, and “Trozzi” bring.
“Power And Control”, like most Sumo Cyco bangers, is unassuming before all hell breaks loose and they manage to yet again hit that something special somewhere within with just the right note or feeling. “The Dance Is Doomed” is fun and heavy as hell with Sweetnam delivering a particularly devastating vocal melody before the pummeling Pop sensibilities of “Awakened” take over, ending Initiation with Sweetnam’s voice especially vibin’ amidst an Electro backdrop further fortified by Drake, “Trozzi” and Aneset’s instrumental prowess.
Initiation is out on May 7th through Napalm Records. Pre-order yours now in a variety of formats when you click here. For the latest on Sumo Cyco, follow them across the internets when you head here, here, or here.