A friend of mine from London bring to my attention this band from Sheffield, England, in 2009 and their debut album entitled “Hysterics” released one year earlier blow off my mind. Define as “progressive hardcore”, labeled as jazzcore, mathcore or simply progressive rock, Rolo Tomassi delivering a fresh and powerful mixture of hardcore, punk, post metal and avant-garde jazz which is quite innovative and brilliant.
The band was formed in 2005 and immediately began to perform at local venues and pubs to small crowds and released some of their first material, a “3 Track Demo” CD, respectively “4 Track Cassette” which they could sell at the shows they were performing at.
After a split EP with Mirror! Mirror! (limited to 333 copies and released through Speedowax) the band signed to Holy Roar Records and released a self-titled EP featuring re-recorded songs from previous demos and EPs along with new songs.
In June 2008, Rolo Tomassi were given a spot at Download Festival and in March 2009 played the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. In September 2008 they released their debut album “Hysterics” and the band also performed at Underage Festival and Sonisphere during 2009. Produced by Jason Sanderson, the 11 songs of “Hysterics” shows a mature and creative band, they play very intense and sometimes very technical blending of punk jazz, art and experimental rock with some matchcore infusions.
Their second album entitled “Cosmology” was released in April 2010. The 10 new songs are kind of darker and heavier, more contorted than the songs of “Hysterics”,Â Rolo Tomassi took a step into a more metallic and “sicker” area of experimental music.
“Eternal Youth” is a two-disk anthology of rare and unreleased tracks to mark the start of Rolo Tomassi’s own record label, Destination Moon. The anthology contains tracks spanning from their earliest recordings, cut six years ago, to tracks taped last summer. This is an interesting trip into the evolution of the band and their sound, from stunning heavy and technical songs to experimental, jazz or psychedelic like twists, sometimes they turning from one edge to the other quite in the same song. 36 absolutely killer tracks. Rolo Tomassi is kind of love or hate type of band, it may takes some patience to get used with their style, but definitively it worth to try. Probably Rolo Tomassi is the most creative band from UK, but unfortunately, probably the most underrated as well.
Mark Ngui – [email protected]
Matt Hughes – [email protected]