Rolo Tomassi

Led by siblings Eva and James Spence, Britain's Rolo Tomassi emerged in the late 2000s with an uncompromising sound that incorporated an eclectic blend of math-hardcore, acid jazz, and progressive punk. Taking influence from diverse artists like U.S. metallers Converge, prog rockers King Crimson, and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, they found early success on Hassle Records with their Diplo-produced sophomore outing, Cosmology, before starting their own label to release 2012's Astraea, which introduced a new lineup and a more streamlined sound that continued on subsequent releases. Naming their group after a fictional character in Curtis Hanson's neo-noir film L.A. Confidential, singer Eva Spence, her brother keyboardist James Spence, guitarist Joe Nicholson, bassist Joseph Thorpe, and drummer Edward Dutton formed the band in Sheffield in 2005. A regular fixture on their local rock circuit, Rolo Tomassi released various self-funded EPs through the indie label Holy Roar before signing to Hassle Records in 2008. In the same year, they performed at the Download Festival, supported Gallows and Throats on their U.K. tours, and released their debut album, Hysterics. In 2010, they recorded their follow-up, Cosmology, with M.I.A. producer Diplo, collaborated with Biffy Clyro for a performance on Channel 4, and released a compilation, Eternal Youth, featuring 36 previously unreleased tracks, which saw release on their own label, Destination Moon. Both Nicholson and Thorpe departed in 2012, and were replaced by Chris Crayford (No Coast) and Nathan Fairweather (Brontide) in time for their third album, Astraea, which appeared later the same year. Following a year of touring, Rolo Tomassi began writing for their fourth studio album, 2015's Grievances, which took on an even heavier tone than previous records. It also introduced another new member, Tom Pitts, who replaced Edward Dutton on drums. After its release, they followed a similar pattern of touring and writing for two years before heading back to the studio to record their fifth full-length. Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It saw release in 2018, this time aiming for a more optimistic and colorful approach. ~ Jon O'Brien & Liam Martin

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