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Review: Sumo Syco – 03/12/19 – Think Tank?, Newcastle

09/12/2019

‘Welcome To The Fucking Show!’ cries Suburban during his opener tonight, an apt and fitting start to a no-holds barred set. Suburban recalls Eminem if he was fronting Linkin Park with a shaved head. His lightning fast rhymes are to little else but a pounding drum beat. He alternates between rap and metal. ‘Gone In Sixty Seconds’ is more suited to the metal crowd and between the drum beats we can just about make out accompanying samples and slayed guitars…

The Australian is a lively chap, hurling himself this way and that before finding his way to sit on the bar and down a shot during ‘Body In A Chair’. It turns from a slow and moving allegory about a dying friend to a full on metal scream as Suburban closes a blistering and quite brilliant set.

West Yorkshire’s As Sirens Fall make a welcome return to Think Tank? following a memorable set supporting Hands Off Gretel earlier this year. They find an audience ready to extend a warm and welcoming ear. Latest single ‘We Go Down Together’ opens the set, a heavy hitting rock track. The five-piece own the stage and practically fall over each other in an attempt to out-jump one another. 

‘Where You Are’ is a poppier more commercial offering. The emo element goes with the band members heavy eyeliner. There’s no doubting the band’s sincerity on the lush pop punk of ‘Lily’. The emotionally intense ‘She Runs The Wolves’ is introduced with a plea from vocalist Mikey Lord to the crowd to look after each other and not to end up like the song’s protagonist. By the time crowd favourite ‘State Of The Artist,’ comes the band have won over another Newcastle audience and are surely set for a headline set of their own in the very near future.

Two accomplished records into their career, Sumo Cyco are feeling brave as they launch into new single ‘Love You Wrong,’ a track showing what the Canadian 4-piece do best. Howling screams from front-woman Sever, break-neck stuttering metal guitars, pounding bass and fierce drums, it’s a case of why fix something that isn’t broken? 

The more familiar anthem ‘Fighter’ from 2014 debut album ‘Lost In Cyco City’ follows and it’s an early indication that the band are on blistering form. They’re in the mood to rock too. ‘Undefeated’, arguably the band’s best single, is played at such a pace that the dance-hall elements to the track are all but lost in the rage which is a shame. If there’s any criticism it’s that the band don’t mix things up quite as much as they’re clearly capable. 

Sumo Cyco

As Skye Sweetnam, Sever once opened for Britney Spears as a solo artist and clearly possesses a wide vocal range. However, we rarely get a glimpse of her talents beyond the blood-curdling screams that are a match to the metal.

The fans don’t seem to care much though. They jump and bounce as one with the band. When tracks like ‘Crowd Control (Do What We Want)’ are this in your face, nobody’s in the mood to complain. The barman has a tough job tonight, as once again he finds another musician using the bar as a temporary stage. Sever adorns it’s wooden top as she toasts the audience before riding on the back of the band’s guitarist back to the stage. Fans and band members then lose their collective shit and the venue is turned into a giant mosh-pit. 

We get a brief glimpse of previous acoustic sessions on ‘Brave II’ from 2017’s ‘Opus Mar’ before it’s business as usual with massive new number ‘Run With The Giants’. ‘Limp,’ is the band’s “anti-anthem” and another new firecracker. It brings things to a close before encores ‘Move Mountains’ and ‘Sleep Tight’ properly end the night. “We’ll be back next year,” says burly guitarist Adam Doveston before the band depart. With the new tracks sounding this good, start counting the days…

WORDS: PAUL BROADHEAD

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