Competing for the youth of the nation's musical hearts and minds is no easy task. Sometimes you need a gimmick, a ruse that will make you or your band stand out from the many others who are all after the increasingly short and fickle attention span of the mainstream media and record buying public. In quite a lot of cases, this "ruse" or "gimmick" is nothing more than regurgitating and copying a sound that is, or was previously popular. Case in point - Panic! At The Disco, noticing the current popularity of Fall Out Boy have rewritten all their songs and added some synth parts, while Editors seem to keep releasing Interpol's back catalogue. Other bands concentrate heavily on the image, some on "cracking" MTV, others through courting the internet.
"But what in shitting crikeys name does that have to do with angular math-rock quartet Sucioperro?" you might be tempted to ask. Good question, I reply. The thing is, after listening and re-listening to this debut album from the Ayrshire band, I don't think Sucioperro are really all about gimmicks or shamelessly courting publicity. The eleven songs here show a band who embrace hard work and sweat, a band who were made for vans, Ginsters pasties and playing Scunthorpe four times a year. This is brilliant in principle, but at the moment Sucioperro just aren't one of those bands I can clasp to my bosom, principally because of the lack of songs in their repertoire that can affix themselves permanently to one's immediate memory.
This isn't to say that this is anywhere near a "bad" album, or indeed one you would be wise to ignore completely. On several points throughout "Random Acts Of Intimacy" the sum of the bands parts come together perfectly, and create some memorable passages. Examples? Witness the bruising riffing and scattergun drumming of opening number "the crushing of the little people", complete with sinister lo-fi opening. Title track "random acts of intimacy" beats a more sedate path, with delicate arpeggios underpinning a lament on the perils of falling in love, before our protagonist finally drawing the conclusion that "she fucking haunts me". Meanwhile recent single "Dialog On the 2" is a meaty, hook-laden affair that combines the recent fashion of "disco" beats with a rather Biffy Clyro-esque alt-rock swagger. My personal highlight is penultimate song "The Drop", which has a guitar motif that will drag around in your brain for eons, and leaps along with perfect summary posture.
Indeed, it's on the aforementioned moments that Sucioperro reach the standards set within the "alt-rock" genre by bands such as Biffy Clyro, Hell is For Heroes, Oceansize and others. However, one problem remains. There's just too much filler on this record for it to be taken as a serious statement of intent from another up-and-coming band from within an already over- saturated genre. There are too many points throughout the LP at which the listener gets bogged down by aimless structure and bludgeon riffola. Which is a shame because there's something undeniably quirky about Sucioperro that I like, however I just can't commit myself fully at the moment.
When writing this review, I found myself suddenly thinking about a film I had watched several years previously, called "The Thing". It's very good, but that's not the point here. At the films conclusion, two remaining characters find themselves sat outside the charred remains of their Antarctic research plant. They have just witnessed the rest of their team being ruthlessly done away with by the films central "baddie". Only problem is the bad character in question is actually a virus that infects whatever living tissue it comes into contact with, or can pass itself into - i.e. it can essentially assume the form of any living thing. So our two central characters left at the end of the film don't know If either is infected. So what do they do? Well, sit there and wait to see what happens. Which is precisely what I'm going to do with Sucioperro - I have seen plenty of bands of this ilk come and go in recent years in a blaze of glory of Melody Maker front covers and CD:UK appearances. At the moment their future is in their hands, and "Random Acts Of intimacy" is definitely solid enough to create a reasonable following / buy enough time to create that second album. But after that... who knows?
I'm going to sit here and see what happens.