Sucioperro are survivors of a past wave of music: the early 2000s alternative rock bands boom. Groups like Biffy Clyro and Muse found fame and fortune, a few like Hundred Reasons occupied their station whilst others like Hell Is For Heroes and Reuben strived for success but never quite made it. Sucioperro would definitely fit into the third category; releasing many EPs and records, widespread touring but with little of the widespread attention or acclaim their peers got. The nearest is possibly Marmaduke Duke, vocalist/guitarist JP Reid‘s off-the-wall side-project with Simon Neil.
‘Fused’ is Sucioperro‘s fourth LP, their newest following last year’s ‘The Heart String & How To Pull It’. After the heavy guitar intro of lead single, ‘A River Of Blood’, what really strikes the listener is the incredibly processed nature of the sound. Reid‘s voice continually blends into the instrumentation, giving off a certain mechanical drone; not that it’s always a bad thing. It suits the upbeat tempo of ‘Wolves’ and the jaunty charms of ‘Where At Dat Wild At’, but the singing over piano midway through ‘To Nothing’ is infinitely superior.
That said, the band suffers from an overly simplistic, wannabe anthemic approach to lyrics with an over reliance on “fuck” and its myriad variations. Oh, there’s also a song called ‘What A Fucking Chump’, so, you know.
Fortunately, Sucioperro are proficient instrumentally and do a good line in upbeat rock. However, ‘Fused’ undoubtably lacks a focus unbecoming of that talent. It sounds like they’ve had many ideas that they’ve tried to mesh together uncomfortably, perhaps as hinted by the album title. For instance, ‘To Nothing’ is a functional try-out in singalong rock before aforementioned piano segue. In itself, it’s a nice moment and would’ve sounded better fixed into its own song.
Moreover, the incongrous verse near the end of ‘Glass Castle’ has all of the sounds of the group trying to resurrect nu-metal, whilst the closing guitar work of ‘Rabbits In Boxes’ is unneccessary for what is largely a good stab at an emotive indie song.
Overall, ‘Fused’ shines with moments of brilliance, the pipes of ‘Where At Dat Wild At’ for instance, but is overall too fluctuating a listen, inconsistent even at this late stage in Sucioperro‘s career. They sound undecided; whether to stick to the dirty rock ‘n’ roll of ‘What A Fucking Chump’, the fey charms of ‘You Should Get Some Sleep’ or striking a balance on ‘Rabbits In Boxes’.
They’re probably too heavy and erratic a group to get any further in the game on the back of this record, but there’s always room for them to go through the same metamorphosis as Biffy Clyro did, and there’s promising signs here of that. Decisions, decisions.
Written by Fin Murphy