The Ayrshire trio serves up some stunningly heavy guitar pop on album four.
Brad Barrett 2012-08-28
Ayrshire's Sucioperro may seem composed of familiar DNA – a Scottish burr, riffs, arena-sized anthems – but their fourth album is heavier, breaking from the skewed guitar pop of their local peers or previous records.
It's a good thing, too. Fused pulls away with a filthy roar of waxy guitar on A River of Blood, a grimy and lyrically profane opener. Any intricacy is kept to the undulating riff upon a time signature you can march to. To Nothing shows off a fine set of descending distorted chords, and a bungee jump leap of a choral build up. Sucioperro then continue to slap similar slabs together in Jenga towers glued with machismo. They rarely go less than full tilt, so the album flies past in enjoyable bluster.
The highlight is the title track, with its set of warm arpeggios and soaring vocals. It's also hard not to embrace the sludge sledgehammers of Discipline Office's verses or the glorious, adrenaline-rich freefall of To Nothing. However, Sucioperro don't always play to their strengths. Rabbits in Boxes is a pretty but uninteresting song that lurches into a 50-second caustic fuzz-burst. There's also the ludicrous Where at Dat Wild At, which nods to Marmaduke Duke, the playful side project of vocalist JP Reid and Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil.
What stops Fused short of achieving greatness is its inclusion of sketches and throwaway filler beside commendably heavy riffs and plenty of fun. This is most notable on closer (You Should Get Some Sleep), which sounds as if it could've bloomed into a rousing crescendo, but just fades out, while the instrumental snippet (Meine Kleine Taube) seems misplaced. It's as if they set out to make a huge rock record, and partially succeeded, but wanted more, unnecessary diversity.
If Sucioperro had committed to the task of making a great heavy pop record, Fused would stand up as a fine example of its kind. As it is though, there's an EP’s worth of genuinely exhilarating tracks here, blemished with half-hearted ambition or, rather, wavering dedication to the band’s key skills.