Rolo Tomassi – Cosmology

Rolo Tomassi – Cosmology - 3/5
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The opening moments of this album feels fitting to the title, electronica synths making for a nice short intro. Then this annoying bass kicks in – I thought it was an annoying sites background music at first, until I realised that this was part of their music. 'Oh awesome, perhaps they've started dabbling in polyrhythms.' Nope. It just sounds really fucking out of place, and seeing as my last review had firm hopes on them finding their sound and continuing to expand on that, improving their insatiable grooves, showing more of their clean side and more insane tempo changes, the fact they've taken one step further towards the musical void of No-Face has me a little annoyed.

There are three main components to their overarching sound; three distinct styles – all defined by the synths and guitars – that combine with one another to form the final entity. The first is the full hardcore overdrive with the sound of blast beats, the same note plucked at random times and the frustrated keyboardist smashing his head against the keys in a fit of despair. The second sadly isn't a lot better, though credit where credit is due both musicians do begin to play their randomly chosen notes without concern for what the other is doing. In fact, these passages may well truly live up to the math title in mathcore as I wouldn't be surprised if they used a random number generator to determine what note should come next and then proceeded to play them as fast as possible.

The final style is decidedly absent for the first ten minutes, but when they start allowing their tracks some breathing room they find the time to actually listen to what their band mates are playing and actually form this crazy thing called a melody. When the vocalist actually stops screaming her bad imitation of a mechanically pitch-perfect howler monkey and is confronted with some actual discernible musical harmony between the instruments, she starts to sing cleanly and suddenly the entire piece opens up for a short while, at least until they feel the incessant desire to start incessantly chugging again.

As things progress to the final moments, the melodies start flourishing and everything suddenly shows promise right up to the monumental finalé demonstrating the finest work they've done to date. I almost feel its worth rating the two halves of the album separately as they sound little alike to one another; the first half could be the result of crackhead monkeys on their equipment for all the abilities on show but once that seventh track finally arrives they prove their worth as potential successors to the mathcore throne. I guess its not time to write them off quite yet...

Highlights: Tongue in Chic, Cosmology