ROLO TOMASSI- Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
Rolo Tomassi have been on quite the adventure. Since 2005 the Sheffield outfit have been making a brilliant racket- defying stereotypes, expectations, and genre tick boxes. If their early work was adrenalized, amplified youthful exuberance then their most recent album, ‘Grievances’, was a decidedly grown-up affair, laden with weight and rage and regret. In between they have leapt forward and with each successive album bolted some bold new part onto their already diverse sound. And it is worth recapping this tale from the beginning because as much as ‘Grievances’ best showcased the band’s hard work to date, ‘Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It’ feels like a fresh start.
Certainly, as ‘Towards Dawn’ blooms into being, some might wonder if this Rolo Tomassi is an entirely different band. It’s a slow-burning, blissful, instrumental (besides some oohs and ahhs) and a neat palette cleanser from everything that has come before- Rolo Tomassi defying expectations again. They aren’t strangers to an ambient intro of course but instead of setting the scene for sonic destruction, the haze clears for ‘Aftermath’. A big, bold pop song written by a band inspired by Converge as much as Tim Hecker, it’s worth the price of admission alone. Rolo Tomassi have been incorporating and experimenting with mood and melody for ages now but ‘Aftermath’ is the first time they’ve absolutely nailed it. And as the album continues it’s clear that this band have finished bolting things together. Now, everything is fluid, everything fits.
‘A Flood of Light’ is sweeping and cinematic, ‘Contretemps’ makes melancholy sound massive, and ‘Risen’ is sad and sweet and beautiful- by anybody’s standards, not just in terms of Rolo Tomassi’s back catalogue. Even when the band go epic (three tracks here sit around the 8-minute mark) and add hissing static and discordant piano jabs to the mix it doesn’t feel like any ideas have been stretched apart or forced together, it feels coherent and complete and natural.
Pit crews never fear, Rolo Tomassi still shred. ‘Rituals’ has headbang written all over it, ‘Alma Matter’ is pumped with galloping riffs and energy and a chance to yell that poetic album title over and over, and ‘Whispers Among Us’ is a pincer move- containing some of the gnarliest vocals Eva and James Spence have ever committed to tape and some of the band’s most accomplished space-rock vibes. It’s like a lost Deftones track at the end there. Really, you can dip in anywhere here and find quality but the record works so well from beginning to end, a trip worth taking more than once.
Rolo Tomassi have already been on quite the adventure then. And yet ‘Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It’ is set to open new doors and reveal ever broader paths to them. It’s best thing they’ve ever done. Another leap forward.