REVIEW: Rolo Tomassi – “Grievances”

My hard drive, in its dying breaths, killed my last review of Rolo Tomassi’s new record, Grievances. Good thing for them. It wasn’t very nice.

The U.S. debut by a U.K. band sporting a trope from an American film, Grievances is certainly all right. (The beginning of “The Embers” is crunchy, yeah, yeah.) But that’s about all I’ll give it. The moments that sound like The Locust are good. And there definitely are a few of them; you can tell the band tried pretty damn hard to make sure of that.
But much of the disc is a smattering or two or ten of inconsistency, bouncing between emo-core bipolar disorder and a kind of desire to see the world only in shades of black and white. Christ, guys, didn’t you hear anything between sour melancholy and grindcore? Texture, damn it! Texture!
Oh, and, um, yeah, there’s a girl singer who sings real pretty to break up the screaming. And some electronics.
Mostly: this is meat four days out of the grocer’s bin. You can still cook it. But, unless you froze the taste out when you got home, it smells funny on the grill. Meh. I’ve heard better.

About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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