Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
Written by: PP on 05/02/2013 22:13:45
Here's another release we missed last year but probably should've covered, if for no other reason than for continuing to fly the flag of mathcore/screamo high after most bands have abandoned the style of morphed it into something unrecognizable in recent years. Rolo Tomassi, as the female-fronted unit are known as, have reached their third full length with "Astraea", arguably their most ambitious and simultaneously their best release to date.
In the past, the band's chaotic mathcore would crash so directly into nintendocore elements and other weird, super-experimentalist shit that it was easy to criticize the band for sounding like the parts were just cut-and-pasted together with no regard to structure or compositional sensibilities. That has largely been fixed on "Astraea", where their still chaotic, low-key screamo (think "Art Damage" era Fear Before The March of Flames) now flows smoothly into the next passage that might come in the form of an ambient experiment with smooth clean vocals, a synth-oriented, gloomy nintendocore section, or something completely different. It's no longer cut/paste, there's now a red thread that's a direct result of their increasing artistic ambition. Nope, they haven't abandoned their roots either -- something like "Remancer" still sounds like a Dillinger Escape Plan offshoot in all its destructive and nonsensical chaos -- but the arrangements are more complex and well thought out. Here, it feels like they're again tapping into FBTMOF - but this time their more challenging latter material from "The Always Open Mouth".
Perhaps most importantly, Rolo Tomassi have been able to take these evolutionary steps without losing touch with their nonsensical screamo and mathcore that they became famous with in the first place. Despite the songs feeling more ambitious, they are still, at their core, screamo songs intended to incite you to break down the walls around you in violent spasms of chaotic lunacy. All of this combined makes "Astraea" candidate for one of the most interesting albums we've heard in the genre for a while.
Download: Howl, Ex Luna Scientia,
For the fans of: Fear Before The March Of Flames, The Number Twelve Looks Like you, HORSE The Band
Release date 05.11.2012