Rolo Tomassi
Hysterics


3.5
great

Review

by craigy2 USER (120 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2008 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A rollercoaster ride of thrills, spills and kills.

Rolo Tomassi are a young band – a very young band in fact. Their youth belies their sense of musical direction and ‘maturity’. With an average age of 19, they are only just old enough to legally drink (only on my side of the pond, mind), and vote but they are already mature enough to make an album that is incredibly creative and at times, very thoughtful. Having been a band for four years now, they have carved their own niche in the UK underground with their abrasive brand of grindcore-hardcore-electro-indie punctuated with spastic jazz freak outs. Not metal enough to be Dillinger Escape Plan; not electro enough to be Genghis Tron; they are their own band – Rolo Tomassi. Their youth gives potential for a long and successful career, and are most certainly a band to look out for in the future. However, more importantly, given the quality of their debut album, ‘Hysterics’, Rolo Tomassi are worthy of your attention right now.

Musically, ‘Hysterics’ is comparable to riding a rollercoaster blindfolded. It twists and turns seemingly randomly, but at the same time flows pretty much seamlessly from section-to-section. Part of the fun of it is that the album is composed with such happy abandon that you can never tell when a song is going to explode violently, or extinguish itself calmly. At times it can be a little too abrupt, but the delightfully odd sounds of ‘Abraxas’ is too wonderfully weird to not enjoy. Starting with a section that vaguely resembles a metalcore breakdown, the song changes tempo and, apparently, time signature several times throughout the song. In theory, this should sound like a horrible, sprawling mess – the whole album should- but it doesn’t. The synths bleep away happily as vocalist Eva Spence (a girl) delivers guttural roars, as well as opposing airy vocals, and the rest of the band maintain the chaos of Rolo Tomassi’s sound.

Elsewhere, the minute long ‘Trojan Measures’ has a house of cards effect, as it appears that any given moment amidst the menacing screams, finger tapping of the guitars and jazzy-metal style drumming the whole thing should fall apart. It changes time signature countless numbers of times, and logic dictates that band members should not be able to keep up, let alone make the song so good. The whole album has an undeniably youthful energy to it that at times such as the schizophrenic ‘Fofteen’ is irresistible. Alternating between music violent enough to kill someone to and the kind of lounge jazz you would expect to hear soundtracking ‘The Sims’ the song is a whirlwind of musical activity.

By and large the album is savagely brutal, vaguely resembling Dillinger Escape Plan, if they were fronted by a petite young woman rather than one of the most muscle-bound men on the planet. Mind you, don’t let Eva’s slight, and may I mention cute, appearance mislead you, as her vocals are rough and visceral as any male vocalist’s. However, some of the best sections of the album, and in the case of the solemn, yet sinister ‘Macabre Charade’, best songs on the album are more laid back. The song transitions unexpectedly from slow, sombre jazz that sounds vaguely improvised before rearing its ugly head with a snarling metal outro. While Rolo Tomassi generally excel at the more subdued sections of the albums 11 tracks, they fail with album closer, the 14-minute ‘Fantasia’. At times the band craft genuinely relaxing, dreamy passages but its overly long time span is its downfall. It is far too incoherent for its own good and would have benefited from being broken up into 5 or 6 shorter tracks.

With age on their side the future is looking bright for Rolo Tomassi. ‘Hysterics’ is a great start for the band, one that they can certainly launch a successful career from. Not only is the album well executed, but the ideas and creativity that went into it are very impressive indeed. While at times (‘Fantasia’, ‘Nine’) they can be too abrupt and incoherent for their own good, ‘Hysterics’ is, generally speaking, a thoroughly enjoyable album. So then, Rolo Tomassi – definitely one to watch for the future, although, it has to be said that currently they are an exciting band who deserve your attention.



Recent reviews by this author
leer SPRINGBREAKNOPARENTSThe Lawrence Arms Metropole
You Blew It! Keep Doing What You’re DoingHammock Oblivion Hymns
Warpaint The FoolThe Gaslight Anthem Handwritten
user ratings (207)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
bamfe9 (3)
Rolo Tomassi deliver an album of two halves....

Gerbilman (3)
An entertaining debut album filled with surprises...



Comments:Add a Comment 
craigy2
September 22nd 2008


551 Comments


Thanks for the anonymous vote!

chewytapeworm
September 22nd 2008


492 Comments


These whippersnappers nearly blew the head off my shoulders the first time I heard them... Its pretty amazing the quality of this music considering their age! Rolo Tomassi kick all kinds of ass!

badtaste
September 23rd 2008


824 Comments


Very nice review, neat metaphors.

craigy2
October 2nd 2008


551 Comments


I only mentioned their age briefly and only a short, throwaway sentence said anything about their appearance...

Haven't heard their EP, heard a couple of tracks off of it though and it sounded good. If anything I reckon the album is better than the EP though I can't say for sure.

KritikalMotion
October 3rd 2008


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is this similiar to Cutting Pink With Knives?

Athom
Emeritus
October 3rd 2008


17240 Comments


I'll be getting this asap

Athom
Emeritus
October 3rd 2008


17240 Comments


I'll find both.

KritikalMotion
October 3rd 2008


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lolz



calm down



this seems pretty awesome so farThis Message Edited On 10.03.08

NVNG
January 15th 2009


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I absolutely loved them when I saw them live but I just can't get into this album. I think it's the recording job. It's not particularly clearly done so the individual instruments tend to run together a bit which isn't great for spazz-core songs. Hopefully they'll get a better deal before their next album.

gaslightanthem
January 15th 2009


5208 Comments


i walked right past this album today in hmv because it screams 'gay' to me just saying

natey
January 19th 2009


4190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This shit turns me on at moments.

br00talexpress
October 4th 2009


47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this shit.

Can't wait for the next one.

laterenima
March 7th 2010


222 Comments


Does anyone think the ability for a female to "grind" away at her vocal chords is a little disturbing?
Of course, it can be said that females can do anything males can do, better in some cases, but the fact that a female fronts this band turns me off.
It's just how I see it.

Prophet178
March 7th 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Of course, it can be said that females can do anything males can do, better in some

cases




lol

Tyler.
October 12th 2014


15652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is so weird

Tyler.
October 12th 2014


15652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i wish she sung more

hortanz
June 12th 2015


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

meh

DDDeftoneDDD
March 23rd 2018


2992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well this is a crazy album

Digging: maudlin of the Well - Bath

Demon of the Fall
March 23rd 2018


9103 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It certainly is, used to enjoy this significantly more than I do now mind.

Digging: Skee Mask - Compro

DDDeftoneDDD
March 23rd 2018


2992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more calculating infinity driven, debatable songwriting, could be heavier because of the insanity...but pretty interesting ideas.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy