Album Review: Sumo Cyco – Opus Mar

Canadian rockers Sumo Cyco are back with a bang with second album Opus Mar, which will be released on Friday (31 March).

The quartet of enigmatic front-woman Skye Sweetnam, better known by the moniker Sever, lead guitarist Matt ‘MD13’ Drake, bassist Ken ‘Thor’ Corke and touring drummer Matt Trozzi have offered up a delicious second offering of their trademark, eclectic in-your-face punk meets rock meets metal meets dancehall.

We caught up with Sever at the band’s gig at Camden Underworld, and she told us what fans should expect from the record: “It’s a bit of a continuation with the same vibe from Lost in Cyco City, but we did really take into consideration the live show because we pretty much wrote this record in-between tours. We wanted to make songs that were dynamically interesting to make a show.

“For me, some bands, particularly in our genre, are like ‘ra ra ra’ all the time with this barrage of in-your-face energy that doesn’t have any highs or lows, peaks or valleys. I love feeling like a show has movements, build-ups, beginnings and ends, so you feel vulnerable then you rip their faces off – that to me is so much more powerful.”

This feeling really comes across in their live show but also on the album, which will certainly rip your face off with its raw, energetic, bouncy sound.

Opus Mar kicks off with the awesome, fast-paced Anti-Anthem, which opens up with a huge drum beat before launching into a wild opening verse with Sever’s trademark vocals dominating. A huge singalong chorus follows that you can’t fail to sing along to and then mash out with the awesome fast guitar riff that precedes it. Check out the video below:

A big drum roll takes us into Free Yourself, followed by a mass of guitar cool riffs, really fun vocal delivery and the catchy chorus of various repeats around the theme of “You’ve got to free yourself.”

That’s follow by Move Mountains, which features the unique vocals of Skindred’s Benji Webbe. It opens up with spoken lyrics from Webbe followed by a big fat riff, Webbe’s lyrics leading us into a big smashing intro then dropping into a funky opening verse with Webbe ‘brapping’ away in the background. Repeats of “You hear me singing my song” lure us into the huge chorus, with infectious repeats of “I can move mountains” and rounding out with the big riff. Check out the video below:

The ridiculously catchy rockiness continues with Passengers, a fast paced romp of heavy bass, flying guitar riffs and Sever’s awesome vocals. And the huge tunes just keep coming, including the awesome Sleep Tight, which kicks off with a cool guitar riff and an opening verse that slowly builds then Sever lets out a big scream and the song explodes into life with a huge fast-paced guitar riff. A stupidly catchy chorus follows, and repeats several times for maximum effect.

That’s followed by the massive Rivalry, which opens up with Sever’s dancehall-esque vocals then explodes into yet more funky riffs and some big rocky vocals in the chorus, followed by some wild fast-paced vocals and cool “pow-pa-pa-pow” before one final chorus.

The heaviness is maintained in low-tuned smash Can’t Put Me Out, which opens up with fast-paced muted guitar chords and explodes into life in the chorus, followed by some chunky chords and a wild combination of vocals that highlight the band’s ability to mix things up from track to track.

But the album doesn’t let up, with big tune after big tune including the infectious Words, with its awesome chorus of repeats of “words, words, words” over a funky guitar riff, and the relentless Rally with its fun, super-fast flowing guitar riffs.

The album goes out in style with the excellent Building Castles, in which the highlight is an awesome section of really funky high-pitched guitar riffs followed by some wild vocals from Sever.

Don’t just take our view on the album, hear from Sumo Cyco themselves in their track-by-track guide here:

Sumo Cyco just wrapped up their UK tour alongside Devilskin and Eva Plays Dead, which we summed up our enjoyment of in this review, and are set to head out on the road with Hed P.E. in Europe – beginning in Holland on Wednesday – which should be pretty awesome! Check out all their upcoming gigs here.

You can follow Sumo Cyco on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and follow Sever on Facebook and Twitter.

We’ll also have more from Sever in a follow-up interview article later this week, so stay tuned for that shortly!

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