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Album Review: Sucioperro - The Heart String & How To Pull It

For the past few years, the Scottish rock scene has been the host to some of the most exciting talent in rock with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic, and The Xcerts breaking through. If you look at the the Scottish scene as a family tree, Sucioperro would be the creepy uncle: more mature and a little creepy, but always commanding respect. It was thus no surprise that their previous release 'Pain Agency' was a dark thrill-ride of intelligent alternative rock that stands high in the understated rock albums of recent years.

The band have finally come back with their third album 'The Heart String & How To Pull It' and, as the title might suggest, conveys a much lighter and positive feel than their two previous efforts. However, for most of the album, the only difference is in tone as 'Running From All That Doesn't Tempt You' and 'Threads' build strong signature alt-rock tracks from simple but effective riffs and memorable choruses often embellished by beautifully wound female harmonies.

The starkest change is embodied by tracks such as 'Landslide', stand-out track 'Reflexes Of The Dead' and closer 'Hands'. JP Reid and acolytes seem to purposefully avoid some of the more complex instrumental and vocal interplay of previous albums to allow the melodies and emotion to flow effortlessly through the tracks (a move similar to Biffy Clyro's with 2007's 'Puzzle'). The two first are arpeggio-driven love songs that ring more honest than cheesy while the latter is an unexpected acoustic take on their style.

The album does have a few flaws, 'Out & Over' is a little over-simplistic and complacent as is 'I Jumped Into The Heart Of A Black Situation', but they are easily outweighed by the more experimental and exciting tracks such as the Marmaduke-sque 'Is That Why You Pull Me In?' that mixes dancey instrumentals with endearingly mispronounced French sentences and 'Delicious', a track that suggests someone's been listening to Paul Simon with electronic beats and some beautiful vocal sections.

All in all, Sucioperro seem to have replaced the urgency of their previous records with a more comfortable tendency towards simple, driving rock songs while still staying true to their core. Most will likely look back at 'Pain Agency' fondly, but 'The Heart String & How To Pull It' has a lot of its own qualities and deserves its own praise.


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James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!