Monday, 6 October 2008

Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics

Hold on to your hats because Rolo Tomassi will blow it sky high… This young Sheffield band have been making waves in more than one circle for a while now, from the indie scene on tour with the likes of This Town Needs Guns and I Was A Cub Scout, to the circle pits of Download Festival.

They manage to span so many very different audiences, it’s pretty beautiful to see, and I urge you to see it live in the flesh. You get people moshing sporadically, disjointed spazz dancing, hardcore flailing or others just stood mouths agape not knowing what the hell is happening in front of them, I even once saw a human pyramid built during the end of one of their sets, but I digress, on with the Hysterics…

Rolo Tomassi are a strange beast they come on like a hardcore band guitars blazing with a burning emotional passion, yet they do it in this cut’n’run disjointed style mixed up with free jazz like on the track Fofteen, and a digital 8-bit Transylvanian horror soundtrack with epic ambiance as on An Apology To The Universe. Vocals come in the form of either beastly screams from Eva the glamorous front woman and James the keyboardist, or sweet ghostly serenades.

One second you are bouncing high reaching for the sky or getting pushed around by the hardcore kids. Then the next you are swaying gently to some droney noise or sweet melodies see Everything Went Grey, which sounds a bit like Aphex Twin’s ambiance in places. They genuinely throw you off with a knowing smile, the tension this disjointed juxtaposition brings to the music is just incredible.

Some picks from Hysterics are: I Love Turbulence that has some phat licks and that metal guitar sound where it goes really high for just one moment… ‘duh duh duh, wah!’ it’s hard to convey in words to be fair, but it’s pretty exciting.

An Apology To The Universe runs into the massive Nine, which is just insane and my favourite one on the album right now. The way those two tracks come together is like Gary Numan swooping in majestically with heavenly wings then being ripped apart by a Triceratops. Then if that wasn’t enough we morn the death of the angelic Numan premonition by breaking it down into a meandering chilling serenade. The album finale Fantasia is a blistering burnt out trailblazer that hits pretty much all of the moods on the album over its course.

Rolo Tomassi have made a compelling album in Hysterics they are very talented indeed. This certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste but the ones who dig it are in for a treat.

Tracks for you, download get a taster, get hooked, buy the album...



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