Review: Rolo Tomassi – Eternal Youth

This month, in celebration of the start of their own record label, insane noisecore crew Rolo Tomassi have released a special two-disc anthology of rare and unreleased material spanning their six year career, Eternal Youth. In case you didn’t know, the band released their second studio album last year, and I rather liked it.

B-side and remix albums are always a tricky one, because often they’re full of filler material that was left of studio albums for a reason, whilst other times the material at hand is too different from what fans come to expect from the band, that the fans take a dislike to it. But more often than not, they only appeal to the most hardcore of hardcore fans and no one else.

So what do I make of Eternal Youth? Make the jump to find out.

Rolo Tomassi – Eternal Youth

Disc 1:

1. Mount Celestia – 7:18
2. Titanomachia – 6:39
3. Pillfox – 2:23
4. The Golden ghost – 3:14
5. Jealous Bones – 2:03
6. Apocalypso – 1:09
7. Digital History – 1:39
8. Beatrotter – 1:41
9. Film Noir – 1:50
10. Curby – 2:12
11. Cirque Du Funk – 4:34
12. Prelude – 1:57
13. Seagull – 5:13
14. And Then The Mannequin Spoke – 2:40
15. C Is For Calculus – 7:37
16. Fuck The Pleasantries Let’s Rock – 1:55
17. Apocalypso – 1:33
18. Rock The Pleasantries Let’s Fuck – 2:58
19. Codes Within Codes – 2:56
20. From Ambience To Ambulance – 1:00
21. Hiroshima 8:16am – 2:11
22. A Cosmic Accident – 11:20

Disc 2:

1. Breathing Through A City – 0:34
2. The Tentatively Titled Film Noir – 2:28
3. And Then The Mannequin Spoke – 2:36
4. Headclouds/Reign Of Low (Throats cover) – 3:25
5. Oh Hello Ghost (acoustic) – 2:45
6. Nine (acoustic) – 2:56
7. Abraxas (remix) – 3:23
8. I Love Turbulence (remix) – 4:00
9. Fuck The Pleasantries Let’s (remix) – 1:44
10. C Is For Drowning Under Waves Of Listless Apathy (remix) – 5:49
11. Beatrotter (remix) – 3:43
12. Tongue In Chic (remix) – 4:25
13. Fofteen (remix) – 4:46
14. I Love Turbulence (remix) – 5:28


So straight off the bat, the majority of the music can be found on the first disc, which contains a mammoth 22 tracks. Disc 2, containing 14 tracks, is more of a remix/alternative version CD, with different versions of many familiar tracks. The way these tracks are split between the two discs work very well, and overall the band have attempted (and succeeded) in creating some sort of cohesion and flow between the songs.

The first CD opens with a song called ‘Mount Celestia’ and what a song it is! It proves to be a fantastic start to the album, with frenzied guitars and melodic synths. It’s chaos, but very much controlled chaos. Despite the screams, alternate rhythms and crazy electronics, the music has a very melodic and powerful progression that pushes the music forward, with a catchy hook prominent throughout. This song isn’t just strong, but after many listens it’s proving to be one of my favorite Rolo Tomassi songs ever.

If you think the strength of this record ends after the first track, then you are sadly mistaken. Second track ‘Titanomachia’ is equally relentless. Beginning with a funky jazz inspired intro, the song is danceable and fresh, but it isn’t long before the track shifts into a manic, fierce barrage of beautiful noise. the synths are strong, and the screams created a wall of euphony. Jazz breakdowns and cool motifs occur throughout the musical piece, before the crazy finale ends this track in style.

As I mentioned earlier, much work has been put in by the band to make sure that this album flows as well as possible. At times I forget that it’s a B-sides album I’m listening to, and think it’s a normal studio album. Of course when I realize it’s over 2 hours in length and has 36 tracks, it kind of brings me back down to Earth, but hopefully you know what I mean. The first disc contains a wealth of material that’s new to me, and most of it is as awesome as any of their other work. The second disc is not quite so strong, as it’s mostly just remixes and alternative versions of tracks I’ve heard before. I’m not the biggest fan of remixes, so for that reason it’s not quite appealing. That said, it’s still an enjoyable listen and the two acoustic tracks are a real highlight, offering a much more subdued side to Rolo Tomassi.

Eternal Youth is successful in displaying the progression the band have made since their youthful days near their beginning in 2005 up until as late as last year. It really shows how the band have developed and evolved their sound over the last few years.  The earlier stuff is much more straight Grind, whilst they manage to find much more control over their craft as they age as a band. That isn’t to say the old stuff is bad per say, but the newer stuff is far more experimental, yet cohesive, rather than being straight noise. The dynamics on display, and sheer diversity make for an interesting listen, with tracks featuring everything from Organs to Pianos to Synth Bass, to the acoustic tracks, the album really does show the full variety of the band.

Overall, Eternal Youth is a fantastic addition to Rolo Tomassi‘s discography. Undeniably it is more likely to appeal to those that already love the band, and first time listeners may wish to opt for one of the band’s two studio albums first, but that isn’t to say the material on show here is any less strong, because it isn’t. The album perfectly shows all sides of Rolo Tomassi, from the beginning of their career right up to the present, with everything from soft to loud, and all of that in between. At normal album price, but with over 2 hours of music, Eternal Youth is a real bargain and fans would be mad not to snap this up.

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