24 May 2010
by Tomas Doyle
Rampant, experimental, forward-thinking, ahead of the game, crushing, euphoric, beautiful, challenging – Rolo Tomassi’s second album Cosmology is all of these things and much more besides. It is truly a record deserves to see them move out of the underground and place them on an international stage as one of the UK’s brightest (and heaviest) hopes.
From the fiddly, needling technical wizardry of ‘House House Casonova’ through to the majestic, synth-drenched closer of the title track, there is barely a foot put wrong here by a band who are, by the standards of most, still remarkably young. Eva Spence’s roar is as distinct and powerful as ever, but is more than matched by an angelic singing voice which peeks its head above the parapit with a greater frequency than in the bands previous efforts. This is certainly a step forward from debut full-length, Hysterics.
There is a somewhat spooky demeanour which permeates Cosmology and the band’s willful desire to experiment and make a record which is just downright weird has paid massive dividends. The keyboard freak out at the start of ‘French Motel’ is beyond fucking brilliant, giving way to glitchy electronics and rhythmic complexities which reward multiple listens (stick it on a big fuck-off pair of headphones and you’ll see what we mean). It’s an album which leaves you feeling disoritentated, like running through a haunted forest, thinking you are seeing things in the trees and when you finally attain some sense of calm in a sonic clearing like the start of ‘Kasia’ you are once again plunged into bleak, claustrophobic musical oddity.
Watch Thrash Hit TV: Rolo Tomassi @ Download Festival 2010:
The only reason I havent given this top marks is that Diplo’s production sometimes slightly undersells a band whose songs characterised by slabs of battering ram noise, although the more expansive, electronic sections certainly benefit from his talents.
Starting out from humble DIY beginnings, Rolo Tomassi have become undoubtedly one of the best bands in the UK right now, and Cosmology only serves to cement that position. If there were more bands half as imaginative and entertaining out there, then the world would be a much better place.
Sounds Like: Fantomas, iwrestledabearonce, the best of British
Top Tracks: House House Casanova, French Motel
Rolo Tomassi – Cosmology tracklisting:
House House Casanova
Tongue In Chic