A true indie band in the purest sense of the word, and a further testament to the power of the Highlands when it comes to modern music, Scottish rock trio Sucioperro have not only gained a name through their cult fan base, they make their music off of it.
Their latest offering The Heart Strings and How to Pull It, has got fair attention due to the fact that it was not only recorded and produced by the band in their own studio, (brilliantly titled The Lair) but it was funded using the fantastic web-driven, fan-funded music platform Pledgemusic, allowing contributing fans to get hold of startlingly superb pieces of memorabilia for providing the means to record the album.
Track one Running From All That Tempts You gives off mixed feelings. Lead singer JP Rheid’s chosen vocal style leaves him feeling somewhat disinterested, which doesn’t help when overlapped over compositions that come across as messy at times. There’s a fantastic feeling of woeful optimism in the lyrics, with a redeeming quality arising from the lively instrumental section at the end, but like most of the bands early tracks, it isn’t as striking as usual. Threads accomplishes much in its brisk run time, with short bursts of playing in the pre-chorus signalling the first notable usage of backing vocals from Lauren Hazlett, whilst the combination of Fergus Monro and Stewart Chun’s respective drum and bass bolstering a sizeable impact. Capped off with a short delve into more aggressive singing it’s a song that gets a lot done whilst it’s in the room.
Already covered in Rhythm Circus’ review of the identically titled EP, Reflexes of the Dead still remains one of the more noteworthy numbers, though any fan worried that its vast departure from the earlier, heavier Sucioperro should move onto track four Out and Over, a song where the carefully placed vocal segments bring out some notable strengths of the album, others being some commendable guitar mini-solos, the odd mix of emotions and undertones to the structure coherent with lyrical content and whilst by now the lyrics feel stale, the variety of the instrumentation stops the record as a whole from repeating itself.
I Jumped Into the Heart Of a Black Situation, which, along with Ideals have Values and Invisible Monsters shows there is a nice simplicity to everything that can either be embraced or prompt thee to wish how much more impressionable it could have been. At this juncture Rheid’s vocals feel a little droning and unenthused, yet in the latter of the three how he lingers on every other note are cheesy but rather gratifying. It all feels very much its own style of music i.e. uninfluenced (which you can take to be either good or bad), coming across as a weird formation of rock that’s heavy, but never enough to pushing you to get up and dance.
The examples of emanating character from the latter half of the album demonstrate how much a better release it would have been if it had embraced the energy and endearingly increasing pitch of the guitar chords in Is That Why You Pull Me In?, with the next track Delicious’s rhythm suggesting that putting an emotional restraint on the music somewhat creates disinterest in the listener. Final bookend Hands is a stupendous sign off; a contemplative goodbye that, alongside Reflexes Of The Dead, kind of shows how much better JP Rheid’s voice is for slower songs.
Summarised, The Heartstrings and How to Pull It is a good effort, but it’s only the last four tracks that would make you smack your friend across the head for not helping to fund it.