By Jonathan Bradwell
First it was album “Hysterics” that reigned down from the sky in 2008, and this year it was mind afflicting “Cosmology” that imported “Rolo Tomassi” back to the nucleus of Britain’s Screamo spectacle. Despite more celebrated acts performing on the main stage tonight, this five piece Matchcore paraphernalia are an element that young metal fans in Yorkshire show a humble allegiance too. As Eva Spence (vocals) darts onstage to snap her experimental weaponry off of the safe setting, those penned in the area clutch their breaths as desultory synth, bass and guitar hooks shoot from the steps of Sheffield’s City Hall.
Wasting absolutely no time tonight Rolo Tomassi glissade into gear with a simulating first few songs. Eva Spence (vocals) pirouettes and dances across the stage, taking those precious moments to slant right back, look at the mist above, and discharge those pressurized, attenuating screams into the clouds above their home city. Their stamina is almost diminishing to experience; it’s like a caged animal being let loose. The bands youth radiates overtly as heads recoil, hips twirl and Joe Nicholson (guitar) plummets brutally to the floor, damages his guitar strap, but still, impressively, manages to conserve the direction of those professionally manufactured riffs.
Utter deference is requited in the form of a tide of saltating bodies when the group perform the unconventionally named hit singles “Party Wounds” and “I love Turbulence”. The outlandish cross over between jazz inspired punk and all out grimy Metal is what these two songs seem to contrive, and the crowd unmistakably adore it. The profound opening riff of “I Love Turbulence” kindles sparks of indignation amongst the movements of the audience, and the planate, overt usage of two vocalists in “Party Wounds” creates a feeling of stupefaction from the front to the back of the situation.
Unfortunately for Rolo Tomassi, there is a sinewy wind scraping across the streets that carry’s and distorts the sounds, making them imperceptibly less magnetizing than ordinary. However, as this is through no dereliction of the musicians, no-one seems to be bemoaning. Active for just a mere five years, Rolo Tomassi have that viridity, that torrid knife point edge that makes there music, no, not recoil off the walls, but stab right through them. Notably the vocal effect on the second microphone used by Eva Spence (vocals) during the more regular parts of the songs has a very halcyon effect. Laying waste to stages at famous festivals such as ‘Sonisphere’ back in 2009, tonight’s stymie stage, which strains to retain the band during song’s “Kasia” and “Sakia”, seems like very intrinsic pickings.
Rolo Tomassi sound just as intellectual, flamboyant and callous live as they do on CD: an aspect of acts that often gets lost in modern culture, where the desideratum to sound unblemished leads to ghoulish overproduction that is toilsome to carry out to a live audience. Although probably the heaviest band today, tonight’s Sheffield based act were the ones who were to curate the days “New Music Stage”. In return for replenishing us with a fluent and surmounting set, whilst being the curator of the stage they laid dilapidation too, fans both old and new roar the name of this esteemed metal act as they vacate the stage. Rolo Tomassi: full marks.
(Picture courtesy of “Flickr”)
Live video of “I love Turbulence” by “Rolo Tomassi” filmed in Norwich. Not the gig I attended: