My first ever review for GIITTV.
Hassle Records 24th May 2010
Rolo Tomassi return to the fray with their usual teenage exuberance for twitchy schizoid grinding metal and hard edged electro, on this there anticipated follow-up to the much lauded debut ‘Hysterics’.
With the choice production skills of LA’s Diplo and mastering by Howie Weinberg, of both The Beastie Boys and Nirvana fame, ‘Cosmology’ builds on previous efforts with an ambitious foray into textured progressive vistas and extended sweeping undulating synthesizers.
Polished, yet still intrinsically raw when needed, the band strife forward in a Herculean effort to produce some quite accomplished tracks, with both James and Eva Spence sharing a dynamic call and response maelstrom of demonic primal screaming and assiduous delicate prose.
The backing is equally as thrilling, especially the impressive chaotic drum barrages of Dutton, who deserves some kind of medal for his skewered rhythms and time signature juggling.
The album opens with the atmospheric misty stirring tones and diaphanous melodic layers of ‘Katzenklavier’, which doesn’t quite match the somewhat distressing etymology behind this tracks title – an antique macabre German musical instrument that basically tortures a string of cats to make a horrendous discourse of pained noise.
Following our introductory segue way of escapism, we speed through the tragic Greek affair of ‘Agamemnon’, a rip-roaring bombardment of mathematical extremities and rapid stabbed spiky theatrics, that soon upsets the applecart.
‘House House Cassanova’ continues along the now familiar impending doom motif, before remonstrating with Death From Above 1979 and Deerhoof and packing them into a metal dustbin, pushing them down a steep hillside towards ammunitions dump.
On the 16 bit retro stomping ‘Party Wounds’, they compete for air in a confined space with Gang of Four, taking on some of their well crafted tumbling angular rhythmic postures, yet maintaining some unabashed roars of despair and hardcore gut wrenching menace.
Insane diatribe vocals and intensified robust workouts ensue on ‘French Motel’ – a more apt title would be a one way check-in at a Slovakian hostel – as the band race through a prompt staccato Hammer house of horrors funfair.
Most of ‘Cosmology’ vainly gallops along at a breakneck speed, but there are also, dare I say it, reflective serene moments aplenty to be found. The title track, which rings out the album, is a seven-minute minor opus that allows Eva ample space to demonstrate an array of emotional lamented dreamy postulations. The backing roams over an indolent paced building expanse of enchanting synthesizer sweeps and ambitious vehement gliding melodies. It’s these more concentrated restrained passages that show promising signs of diversification, hinting at future expansions in the Rolo Tomassi sound.
Definitely a more industrious improvement on their last album, as the band finally finds its natural groove.
Original Rating: 3/5