ALBUM: Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics

Release Date: September 22nd, 2008
Label: Hassle Records
Website: None available


The label and term of an ‘original’ band is one that passed around far too loosely nowadays. It seems a band just has to do something slightly different to the norm and suddenly they’ve become musical some form of musical pioneers. Then, when a band like Rolo Tomassi come about onto the scene, you know that it’s time to erase everything you said about every other allegedly ‘original’ band you labeled so in the past. With their debut full-length ‘Hysterics’, you’ve got to be somewhat invincible if you aren’t blown away by the technical and unusual musical nature of the material this young band have created, whether it’s your cup of tea or not.

The thing with ‘Hysterics’ is it’ll probably leave you in exactly what it says in a tin, with the constant tempo and mood changes and shifts that are ever present in tracks like ‘I Love Turbulence’, and the frantic and heavy electronic moments such as that within ‘Scabs’. Aswell as being both stunned and confused as to how the band’s fusion of heavy murderous breakdowns and their lighter and more merry fairground-esque undertones gelling things together, you’re likely to be knocked back by the stature of the young lady Eva Spence is whose bellowing the screams and growls through your sound system. Eva isn’t just about screaming though, with the band introducing clean vocals into their mainframe, helping with the ascending introduction found in ‘Oh, Hello Ghost’ and ‘Abraxas’. With being one of those bands that you’d be surprised didn’t shove a bit of everything in an album, be rest assured they’ve even put a bit more of a melodic number with ‘Macarbe Charades’, opening with dark and quiet instrumentations before the introduction of vocals from Eva and her brother and fellow bandmate James Spence, but, as with most of the other offerings on the album, it soon explodes into a musical detonation.

Rolo Tomassi are young, vibrant, and energetic. Their music is powerful, unpredictable, and could even be considered bipolar. In short, ‘Hysterics’ is a monster of a debut.

Written by Zach Redrup