REVIEW: Rolo Tomassi – Cosmology

Most bands with Rolo Tomassi’s pure greatness usually do one album and call it quits cause they don’t want to ruin their “awesome album streak”. After their first album “Hysterics”, I was fearing the next month they would be no-more. Instead they release a superfuckingawesomekiller of a album the next year, “Cosmology”.
Rolo Tomassi are definitely within the vast hardcore genre, this being that its notoriously hard to make an album within this genre. Not only have they succeeded in that, but its original and progresses like an awesome album should.

The beginning tracks “Katzenklavier” and “Agamenemnon”, kind of sound like a old VCR with loads of different recordings on them, instead with a guitar, synth, and Eva’s roar. It feels like it shouldn’t work, but it does in a very satisfying way. Next up is the pounding “House House Casonova”, probably the most math/jazz influenced track on the album, its very bass driven almost acts like a intro to “Party Wounds” which is the hook of the album.

“Party Wounds” is the first track on the album to exceed 3 minutes, so its almost like the main course. It starts with the knife like guitar, and eventually builds to the epic beat down chorus with the spooky synth creating a pretty weird but cool atmosphere. The bass then leads the track to a half sung/half talked like narration of the song, with Eva’s occasional interjection. There is a lot of sing talking in the track, considering the dosage you’d normally get from bands isn’t much. But it works nicely building to the ending combination of everything at the end, which tastes good like bubble and squeek.

However, the album really starts progress when it reaches “Kasia” where Rolo Tomassi start to experiment. Rolo Tomassi are already pretty experimental to say the least, so when they towards experimenting further, its like seeing the edges of the universe. Which I would go as far to say that, that is what “Kasia” kind of feels like. An epic trudge of a song, with the spacey synth whirling over the crashing symbols whilst Eva and James exchange desperate growls. The drop of this song is a polyrhythm that would take some of the best mathematicians to work out the time signature. What follows is a racing breakdown that evolves into the end that could of been a theme to someone trying to diffuse a bomb.

Truth be told “Kasia”, “Sakia”, “Tongue in Chic”, and “Cosmology” work like a opera of mathcore/spazcore/jazzcore, whatever you like to call it. You could actually put a musical screenplay to these final songs. “Tongue in Chic” actually feels like a summer afternoon at one point, but at the sametime, it could of been influenced by Refused. Its so weird, its great. To end the album, “Cosmology”, a mellow shimmer of a song that eventually becomes something so much bigger, a pulsating crash, worthy of Mogwai or label mates 65daysofstatic. Whats great about this finale is that its different to the rest of the album, showing that Rolo Tomassi aren’t afraid to divulge into different genres and avoid becoming defined by their genre.

I really can’t imagine what it must be like to see this band live, but I’ve heard that when they play local doves flock to the venue.

Rolo Tomassi – Party Wounds



  1. geoffreview wrote:

    Quality review, thanks. I’m in total agreement that the back end of the album is more experimental.

  2. [...] LATEST OBSESSION: Diplo – “Decent Work For Decent Pay: Collected Works – Volume One” Posted on August 7, 2010 by Nathan I recently picked up this eclectic Diplo collection album. It’s really rather good. I’d heard it a couple of times via the venerable Swedish music-streaming service Spotify. But as soon as I spotted it on a recent visit to the Rough Trade store in London, I just knew I had to pick it up. And it doesn’t disappoint in showing off the off-touted Super-Producer/DJ/Remixer’s talent and breadth of influences as well as the acts he works with. Hell, this year he even part-produced the Cosmology album for Sheffield hardcore/metal (I’m hazy on which genre?) band Rolo Tomassi. [...]