ALBUM REVIEW: Sumo Cyco – Initiation

Release Date: May 7th 2021
Label: Napalm Records


With third full-length ‘Initiation’, Canadian quartet Sumo Cyco look set to bring their chaotic yet catchy blend of genres to a wider audience. With the record marking their major label debut, the band pull no punches as it flies through various genres and riffs alike.

Kicking things off with single ‘Love You Wrong’, stomping guitars give an industrial crunch to compliment Skye Sweetnam‘s growling vocals. Delivering cut throat screams alongside a grit filled clean chorus, Sweetnam employs a variety of vocal techniques to keep the momentum pushing forward. Boasting a strong chorus and not outlasting its welcome, ‘Love You Wrong’ sets the tone for the record before giving way for the biting ‘Bystander’.

Presenting a blend of post-punk, reggae, and industrial, ‘Bystander’ continues to refine the genre mash up that Sumo Cyco have developed over their career. With a bouncing energy and an experimental bridge, the track pushes the group’s sound further whilst not losing their identity.

Following on with ‘Vertigo’Sweetnam‘s vocals navigate a track that mixes pop-rock, rap, and driving punk in a tightly wound bundle. Serving as a turning point for the record and a natural progression for the band, ‘Vertigo’ unleashes well-crafted hooks and allows them to sit front and center.

This isn’t to say that Sumo Cyco have any intention of abandoning their previous sound entirely, as ‘Bad News’ gladly delivers buzz saw guitars and hammering drums, whilst ‘No Surrender’ blends choppy rapping, juddering guitars, and low growls to highlight the diversity of their influences. The same can also be said for ‘M.I.A.’, as Sumo Cyco dip into reggae and big beat infused rock effortlessly.

While may detect a few hints of ska throughout the record, ‘Run With The Giants’ sees the band commit to the genre, admittedly with a skewered view point. Complete with pulsing synths, gang vocals, chunky guitars, and armed with a bundle of hooks, ‘Run With The Giants’ continues to maintain the restless energy that flows through ‘Initiation’.

As the record reaches its final moments, Sumo Cyco refuse to stay with just one tone for their sonic palette as ‘This Dance Is Doomed’ delivers a hook laden coda that’s destined for crowd participation. An infectious record, ‘Initiation’ sees Sumo Cyco continuing to refine their sound.

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