Sum of Us are a five-piece Prog Rock band from Brisbane who formed in early 2017. They have since supported In Heart’s Wake, and with some Dillinger Escape Plan / Karnivool vibes, have created a sonically interesting and energetic debut EP, ‘Sharp Turns in Dark Tunnels.’ They combine various genres including Metal, Progressive Rock, Grunge, and alternative rock to create their own unique sound. The mix of piercing vocals with all the rhythms and riffs work nicely together to give you a dynamic listening experience.
The first song of the album, First Yawn opens with a swinging, heavy, Meshuggah-style guitar chug and a smashing drum beat, which gets your head nodding along. The song flows nicely with a catchy guitar riff that follows through the whole song. The jarring dissonant riff about three quarters of the way through is a sharp contrast to the first part of the song yet still works nicely. Great vocals complete the song and make it an overall strong opening to the album. This song is a solid first track and is a good indication of the dynamic of the rest of the songs to come.
Another strong head-banger, Eleven Tigers features an underlying rhythm that remains consistent throughout the entire song. The soaring vocals complement the guitar parts, and the mix of normal and double-time kick beats spices up the song. Using an unusual time signature helps to keep the song lively and changes things up from First Yawn.
The very Proggy Forrest begins with a pretty creepy but awesome opening riff that pops up throughout the song. The ringing chords in the chorus that you could sway to balance the sharp guitar work in the verses, yet the chords themselves are dissonant and give off an atmosphere of uneasiness. Soaring vocals contrast and balance out the heavy rhythms. This song mixes things up a bit – by featuring the weirdly cool riff at the beginning it gives the listener an interesting change in dynamic after the first two songs are more rhythm-focused. This is by far the most memorable song off the EP, as that introductory riff is very distinct straight away, and stays in your head long after listening.
Finally, Carousel and its interestingly dynamic rhythm rounds off the album nicely. It is quite a chunky song with heavy guitar parts interchanging with energetic vocals. Carousel, while having a similar energy to First Yawn, as the last song sounds more resolved, giving you a feeling while listening of completion. This ties in perfectly after Forrest’s jarring dissonant chords and continues with the natural flow of the album.
The EP is overall very dynamic, energetic, and has a tasty mix of chunky guitar rhythms and catchy riffs. It does well to conjure imagery of being in a dark tunnel, in particular maybe driving through one at night. The rhythms make you want to keep nodding your head along to each song, and while the overall dynamic of the EP is not wildly varying (with a fairly consistent tone/energy level throughout), each song has its own unique feature that keeps you wondering what will happen next throughout the EP. Sum of Us have ultimately made ‘Sharp Turns in Dark Tunnels’ an enjoyable and interesting EP.
GET YOUR HANDS ON SUM OF US’ ‘SHARP TURNS IN DARK TUNNELS’ FROM THEIR BANDCAMP HERE!