Like a fog crawling around its surrounds hiding secrets the eye cannot see, the drums and bass entice you into discovering what lies beyond the darkness; they draw you in, make you wonder what it is that you’ll find when you break through. The delicate sounds of the guitar then emerge enhancing the mystery. They linger, pulsating and grow into a deep explosion that is eventually eclipsed by the velvety tone of Sarah McLeod.

Down Again, The Superjesus highest charting single, welcomes listeners back into the world of Sumo, their stunning debut album from 1998. However, this is 2018 and The Superjesus are celebrating via their new release, Sumo 20th Anniversary.

The Adelaide alt rock veterans’ eighteen track album truly is a wonderful trip down memory lane. Instead of simply replicating the original album, Sumo 20th Anniversary also contains a suite of live tracks from triple j’s Live at the Wireless including Honeyrider and Saturation. These are a distinctive contrast to the album’s studio tracks as they highlight the richness of The Superjesus live sound that was so revered in the nineties.

Other additional tracks include Blisterment, the B-Side to Down Again, Shut My Eyes, a hidden track on the original Sumo, Strips of You from their 1996 debut EP Eight Step Rail, and a hauntingly beautiful and guitar heavy cover of Kylie Minogue’s Confide in Me.
The amalgamation of studio tracks, cover versions and live tracks create an accurate depiction of what the The Superjesus represent. Sumo 20th Anniversary champions their ability to express themselves in a darkly compelling yet somewhat melancholy manner in the one instance and in a pure rock ‘n roll way in another all the while highlighting McLeod’s powerful yet sensitive vocals and emotive lyrics.

It may have been twenty years since the first incarnation of Sumo was released, but the passage of time has certainly been kind to The Superjesus with Sumo 20th Anniversary.

Album Review by Anita Kertes