Sicksense lay the smackdown on your eardrums with a husband and wife duo of starkly contrasting vocalists, glued together by a groovy, tastefully virtuosic power-trio, wielding impressive progressive metal and rapcore backgrounds. Killer V’s (ex-The Agonist) vocals range from theatrical and classically arena-rock to a more soulful, sultry, mysterious approach, while Rob The Ripper’s (Stuck Mojo) confident, yet vendetta-filled rap flow channels Mike Patton and Chuck D for the modern era. To put it in a bombastically crass way, this is what Lacuna Coil would sound like in the Saints Row universe. When Sicksense released their debut EP Kings Today in April 2022, it offered a whole slew of passionate and bouncy fun. Now that its companion Fool’s Tomorrow has dropped, it begs the question; is it as much of a blast as its older sibling?
It’s a resounding “yes” from the opening track alone. When “Feed Them To The Wolves”’ arises from its shrouded lo-fi filter intro, the bass drops, and both vocalists give it all with their guttural vocals. It’s definitely the coolest that a couple’s shouting match has ever sounded. The main attraction of this song is Spot-On-Sam’s psychedelic bass solo section, and Killer V plunges us deeper into the trip with rich vocal harmonies that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early 2000s R&B record from the likes of Aaliyah or Destiny’s Child.
Following that up “Fools Tomorrow” doesn’t let go of any of the momentum that the opener created, this time around, the keys lend a more dystopian, twisted, Y2K atmosphere. Rob storms his way in with nothing but swagger and a chip on his shoulder, venting his grudge against punks that have “better luck / under the sun / they never want to work / but expect all the fun” But the opposite couldn't be more true when it comes from Sicksense. They bring the party that these lazy, self-indulgent bands lack.
As much of a blast as this EP is, there are moments where things get real. In the most punishing song in Sicksense’s discography, “Invitation,” they tell the true story of when Rob The Ripper was inches away from losing his life in an armed robbery. The bounce riffs are nothing short of menacing. The chords in the hook sound as haunting as that one true crime podcast episode that’s been keeping you awake at night. Lines like “don't you dare pray to God / you’re going to beg to me / get down on your knees / and have faith in me” are delivered by both vocalists so confrontationally, that you feel as if you’re in the middle of the action.
“Run And Hide” is a track full of dark theatricality with a soaring arena chorus that calls back to Killer V's past in The Agonist. That’s a theme that runs through this EP - The hooks have such a strong sound that they make a memorable moment in every track no matter what. Sometimes it's so strong that the EP’s more chaotic cuts, like this one, get completely engulfed by the attention that the choruses grab. It’s a double-edged sword.
After the four-track streak of fire and venom is through with its destruction, there is a much-needed moment of relief. The final track “Erase And Rewind'' is a wistful acoustic ballad that displays an emotive and tender side of the Arizona nu metal outfit. Every track is full of surprises, and this one shows that even in restraint, Sicksense can channel strong emotions like nobody’s business.
Fools Tomorrow is full of dualities. On this EP, they can bang out a catchy hit and make you go insane in the pit. The production is slick and clean, without reducing the raw impact that a live performance would give. Behind the caveman riffage and uncontained silliness, there’s real technical prowess and the darkness of the human condition deep down in this sound, all rolled into a theatrical, modern package.
Tank The Tech was right when he said “I cannot wait to see what this band does. If I were an A&R person at a label, I would be actively pursuing these guys” Time will tell where this band goes next, and how they’ll grow from an already explosive start. Right now, I’m willing to bet that Sicksense’s loyal fans today will feel like geniuses tomorrow for experiencing this awesome band before they’ve even reached their peak.