Synth-powered mathcore experimental punk band Rolo Tomassi hail from Sheffield and are taking 2009 by storm…
Mathcore: Also known as technical metalcore, technical hardcore, and math metal. A style of metalcore recognized for a high level of technical musicianship. Has roots in bands like Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan. The music is usually filled with discordant, somewhat technical riffing, complex time signatures and song structures, and passionate, energetic vocals. Songs played by bands of this style tend to vary from mere seconds in length to over 15 minutes and rarely feature a conventional verse-chorus song structure. ‘Tis experimental.
A little while back I was flicking through Kerrang! magazine and stumbled upon a Rolo Tomassi poster. My first mental note on them was “Great. Another heartfelt pop-punk band that will make my eyes burn with loathing. We might have another Paramore or Hey Monday in our sights.” God – how wrong was I.
I’m telling you my initial reaction just so you know I don’t automatically love a band or its music just because a modern punk label has been slapped on it.
Rolo Tomassi’s lead vocalist Eva Spence really growls. She tears up the speakers with her tormented screams. I was taking aback by the power of Rolo Tomassi’s music – and, if you see a photo of Eva Spence, you’ll wonder how it can be that such a great wall of sound can come from the leather lungs of someone so innocent-looking and tiny.
To that, you can add the science fact that you’ll be seriously hooked by those experimental riffs – no matter what music is your cup of tea. Mind you, if you think music is an endless succession of cups of tea then you’re probably not musically critical enough to worry about the distinctions between mathcore or pop-punk or.. Oh… anything, really.
Rolo Tomassi debut album ‘Hysterics’ was released in 2008. The Rolo Tomassi brand of punk piles on extreme yet tremendous layers of screams, tense growls, sweet censored singing, a peculiar edge of keyboard synth played by James Spence (Eva Spence’s brother)and Joe Nicholson’s experimental riffs – which will make your head spin.
Rolo Tomassi video – I love Turbulence
Not only was Rolo Tomassi’s debut album groundbreaking but they have been on the cover of Rock Sound for Shred Yr Face Tour with F*cked Up! and The Bronx. They are now doing a split with sludge metal hardcore manics Cancer Bats and Throats. Gallows also got some members of Rolo Tomassi to make a guest appearance on their second album Grey Britain. This year they’ve snagged a spot at Download, performed at Sonisphere and had their own slot at Underage Festival.
Rolo Tomassi are spreading like tropic fever and this is a fever you wouldn’t want to sweat out. Their music reaches out to you, lifts you up to the highest places. If you find the air up there too thin to breathe, take time out by focusing on their gripping lyrics as well.
Rolo Tomassi are even reaching high places themselves – in 2010 they are Australia-bound to play at Soundwave.
I’m chuffed I came across Rolo Tomassi. Without them I would have been ignorant of the wonderful blissful musical fusion they’ve brought to the world of punk rock.