Following the success of their Eight Step Rail EP, the Superjesus returned in early 1998 with their debut album Sumo. Continuing the formula of the earlier EP, Sumo was full of guitar-driven alternative radio-friendly songs. The songwriting of Chris Tennent and Sarah McLeod continued to be a highlight, with Sumo sounding polished in terms of both writing and production. Opening with the Helmet-style riffing of the excellent "Down Again," the Superjesus show that guitar rock with McLeod's vocals soaring over the top is definitely their strength. Unfortunately, it is also their weakness, with Sumo containing too little variation in style, with the possible exception of the almost-ballads "Now & Then" -- complete with string arrangement -- and "I'm Stained" (which also appeared on Eight Step Rail). While the first half of Sumo shows plenty of promise, the second half loses its intensity, although the hidden track ("Shut My Eyes") is a welcome chance to revisit the song that started it all for The Superjesus.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Lewis