Published Nov 18, 2008Surfing around the other day, I stumbled upon Rolo Tomassi over at the always fascinating 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog. Suggesting the Sheffield, UK-based outfit are a relief for those suffering from the absence of the Blood Brothers' brand of "splattercore," it was hard not to have a taste.
The song up for download/stream, "Macabre Charade," is hardly what I was expecting. Beginning with a soft, slithering math rock structure, it's as much Slint as anything at first. It does splatter after two minutes but it only really intensifies because of the throat-tearing screams and horror growls coming from the mouths of James and Eva Spence.
Some digging, however, led me to a song taken from their recently released album, Hysterics (out on Hassle Records, the UK home to bands such as Cancer Bats, Alexisonfire, Attack in Black, City and Colour and Black Lungs). "Abraxas" goes straight for the jugular from the start, like a vicious, hungry attack dog, as the five-piece don't hold back in showing off their technical chops. Some jazzy time signatures demonstrate there's more to them than just mayhem, but James's NES-like synth riffs steer the ship, complementing Eva's ear-rupturing growl and Joe Nicholson's sharp guitar stabs.
I think the ferocity is there, but Rolo Tomassi aren't quite at the same hyper-spasmodic level as Seattle's finest just yet. Still, they certainly fill that fix nicely when you're in need of some intense spazzcore.
Rolo Tomassi "Abraxas"