Thrash Hits

July 18th, 2008

Album: Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics

This is a WORLD EXCLUSIVE REVIEW of one of the most hotly anticipated debut record releases of 2008. Read all about Rolo Tomassi’s fantastic first full-length record, Hysterics, right here. It’s quite some journey.

Rolo Tomassi Hysterics Thrash Hits

Rolo Tomassi
Hysterics
Hassle Records

by Raziq Rauf

There once was a band from Sheffield who released an album in 1987 called Hysteria. That was Def Leppard. They went on to sell over 21 million copies of that record and the rest, as they say, is rock history.

21 years later and another band from Sheffield is due to release their debut album, called Hysterics. Are Rolo Tomassi giving a sly wink to their townsmen? Does this youthful quintet expect to harness the record-buying populace and shift units in the millions? It’s doubtful.

Interestingly, not a single one of the six magical songs from their self-titled debut EP can be found on this album. Not even the spooky, organ-driven mastery of the malevolent ‘Curby’ or the frantic two-minutes of Super Mario-esque brilliance known as ‘Film Noir’.

Rolo Tomassi Hysterics Thrash Hits Packshot Album Cover

They may have taken their name from a fictional character in Oscar-winning, Hollwood crime thriller, LA Confidential but there is absolutely nothing fake or starry-eyed about these eleven tracks. Criminal and thrilling, however…

Led with aplomb by the ever-glamorous Eva Spence (pictured, below), Rolo Tomassi have spent the past couple of years crafting a debut album which excites and invigorates whilst still absolutely terrifying the unexpecting ear.

Tell any innocent bystander that the ear-melting screams they can hear are being emitted by a sweet little 18-year-old girl and they’ll probably laugh at you. This is where part of their magic lies.

From the epic opening track of ‘Oh, Hello Ghost’ which almost lulls you into a false sense of security with its lilting, wilting opening chords, relaxed riffs and Eva’s sweetly sung playground sneers. You already know not to trust them that much.

Rolo Tomassi Thrash Hits Eva Spence Hysterics Lucy Johnston

Eva Spence © Lucy Johnston

Again, during ‘I Love Turbulance’ and ‘Macabre Charade’, Eva displays her vocal versatility as she switches from quite frightening terrier-style yapping to singing which can only be described as angelic. The rest of the band complements everything she does throughout. As her vocals gain urgency, you hear the shoulders tauten and the drumsticks being held that bit firmer.

Take ‘Abraxas’, for instance, as the perfect Rolo Tomassi song. There’s a stilted flow from previous track ‘Fofteen’ which lends to a trademarked tumultuous opening which leads to riffs which veer comfortably and uncontrollably between the spazzy and the rock’n’rolly before descending steeply into their absolutely essential, keyboard-driven Nintendo world.

You can listen to ‘Abraxas’ on Rolo Tomassi’s official MySpace.

If, at this point, you do not find yourself absent-mindedly destroying the majority of your immediate surroundings – with a huge shit-eating grin on your face all the while – you’re doing it wrong.

Whilst you take in the new view and catalogue the debris around you, however, Rolo give you a minute or so of chilled out film music from outer space with ‘An Apology To The World’. How kind of them. They play this card again with ‘Everything Went Grey’ before unleashing the anti-pop franticness of ‘Scabs’.

Rolo Tomassi Hysterics Thrash Hits

‘Nine’ is the first song to clock in at over four minutes. Registering the multitude of movements and emotions this song goes through would be one of the more laborious tasks of the day, so let’s just say that it’s rather complex.

If you’re a fan of complex, Rolo Tomassi have saved the best for last. ‘Fantastia’ is fourteen minutes of eyes closed, balls-to-the-floor, progressive hardcore self-indulgence in the best possible way. Skipping through moods and styles with ease and conviction, it appears that the band has come of age.

Make no mistake about it: with Hysterics, Rolo Tomassi have created an album that is as far from an easy listen as you’ll get. Don’t expect it to sell 20 million copies, but as debut albums go, this is one of the most compelling British hardcore debuts of recent times and is truly, truly vital.

6/6

Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics tracklisting
‘Oh, Hello Ghost’
‘I Love Turbulance’
‘Fofteen’
‘Abraxas’
‘An Apology To The World’
‘Nine’
‘Macabre Charade’
‘Trojan Measures’
‘Everything Went Grey’
‘Scabs’
‘Fantastia’

Hysterics by Rolo Tomassi is released on 22 September 2008 on Hassle Records


Comments

  • http://www.everydaymarketingideas.com/ Chris Moran

    Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  • http://www.everydaymarketingideas.com Chris Moran

    Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  • http://www.weareshapes.com/ Gavin Filmer

    I’m looking forward to hearing this even more so now!! Excellent!!

  • http://www.weareshapes.com Gavin Filmer

    I’m looking forward to hearing this even more so now!! Excellent!!

  • http://www.plasticcowboys.blogspot.com/ James Hoste

    Sound! I’ve been waiting for this for years, and it’s so close. Times are good indeed. Nice review squire, can’t wait to my hands on a copy!

    X

  • http://www.plasticcowboys.blogspot.com James Hoste

    Sound! I’ve been waiting for this for years, and it’s so close. Times are good indeed. Nice review squire, can’t wait to my hands on a copy!

    X

  • iain

    I can’t wait for this :D

  • iain

    I can’t wait for this :D

  • Sarah

    I wasn’t that impressed by them at Download.

  • Sarah

    I wasn’t that impressed by them at Download.

  • Dex Dexter

    I saw them at Download and thought that they were exceptional.

  • Dex Dexter

    I saw them at Download and thought that they were exceptional.

  • Dirk Dirkus

    They are great live. I saw them at Tonbridge and the keyboard player was mincing about the stage like a mincer.

  • Dirk Dirkus

    They are great live. I saw them at Tonbridge and the keyboard player was mincing about the stage like a mincer.

  • Mick

    I can’t wait for the release.
    Its the release of the year for me.
    A great live act too.

  • Mick

    I can’t wait for the release.
    Its the release of the year for me.
    A great live act too.

  • shaz

    i saw them at middlesbrough, the venue was tiny but they still rocked out like they were at download. it was awesome. i actually sat with eva before the gig and had a chat with her, she is a really lovely girl! it was my birthday and she made my night by dedicating the set to me and giving me a t-shirt, and having a good old natter with me!
    i’m really looking forward to this album, i wish them all the best!

  • shaz

    i saw them at middlesbrough, the venue was tiny but they still rocked out like they were at download. it was awesome. i actually sat with eva before the gig and had a chat with her, she is a really lovely girl! it was my birthday and she made my night by dedicating the set to me and giving me a t-shirt, and having a good old natter with me!
    i’m really looking forward to this album, i wish them all the best!

  • http://www.myspace.com/weekendholocaustparty Leon

    Great band,

    Mahoosive fan,

  • http://www.myspace.com/weekendholocaustparty Leon

    Great band,

    Mahoosive fan,

  • http://www.xdevx.wordpress.com/ xdevx

    They’re just insane, love’em all the way… see my review of “hysterics”: http://xdevx.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/rolo-tomassi-hysterics/

  • http://www.xdevx.wordpress.com xdevx

    They’re just insane, love’em all the way… see my review of “hysterics”: http://xdevx.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/rolo-tomassi-hysterics/

  • http://www.thrashhits.com/ Raz

    I still love this record.

  • http://www.thrashhits.com Raz

    I still love this record.

  • Alex Halter

    ROLO TOMASSI = BEST BAND EVER!

  • Pingback: Rolo Tomassi – Oh, Hello Ghost Video | Alt-UK()

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