BY JONATHAN LEVITT
There’s a whole lotta heavy in them hills! All hail this hefty slab’o’wax from Sumo Princess a band made up of Abby Travis and Gene Trautmann both of whom have played with The Go Go’s and Masters of Reality. Abby Travis is a wicked LA bass player and an amazing vocalist who on tracks like “Crooked Plow” delivers some powerful emotions using her wonderfully expressive voice and swagger filled bass playing. “New Goth” had me rocking in me seat. Here Travis’ throb heavy bass recalls elements of Peter Hook and then there’s the drum beat which has “She’s Lost Control Again” written all over it. The song then sludges out into hallucinatory territory, a shot to the dome, that hands beat downs all the way to its glorious fade out. Trautmann’s skin smashing talent, lends a biting heft to all the songs on this record. “Kali Ma” me not really like, it’s part Helios Creed processed vocals and King Diamond operatic nonsense. That misstep aside the next track “You Will Rise” is as if Kate Bush began fronting a stoner rock band. The track bristles with an unsettling moodiness augmented by some clever percussive elements. The subtle nuances Travis is able to coax from her bass is visible on the ultra-heavy and hypnotic “Angel Dust”. The album closes with “Click Bait” an oddly structured number that conjures both elements of Therapy? and Elastica, stretched over some jarring time changes. Travis’ amazingly broad vocal range and bass playing is so compelling, it makes the case for getting this record on its own. That said I think that her best vocal moments are when she sings using a more standard delivery. The musical interplay between Trautmann and Travis when it connects makes for an absorbing experience that pulverizes everything in sight. I’d be interested to see how that translates to a live setting. The band is playing a string of east coast dates with the Meat Puppets beginning in early May.
DOWNLOAD: “Crooked Plow” “New Goth” “You Will Rise” “Angel Dust” “Kill the King”