REVIEW: glasgow's the roly mo have released their debut EP, "TRM"
Without a doubt one of the most galvanizing acts emerging in the UK today, Glaswegian guitar band The Roly Mo have been stomping onto the scene, making sure that everyone knows they're here and gearing up for a doozy of a career. Having formed in 2016 after literally finding their drummer in the campsite of Scotland’s final T In The Park festival, they spent about a year getting to know one another better, sonically and personally, and because of that time, were able to cultivate and hone their own sound so that when it came time to professionally record the demos they'd come up with, they blew away everyone who listened. Their debut single, "Fooled By You," was released DIY in February of 2019, premiered at a gig in Glasgow during which they went from being a band some people knew to being a band everyone wanted to know.
They've kept that energy through to 2020, despite a global pandemic and an essential freeze on the industry that they depend upon. Single release after single release has prepped them for this day. Their debut EP is here, and it's time for them to blow up.
TRM was conceptualized years ago, in the early days of the band, and was finally brought to life with the release of "I'll Be Happy When You Die" late last year. The lead single is absolutely an unerring vignette of this record (and of The Roly Mo themselves): loud, in your face, unapologetic, and guitar-heavy. “The sound we were going for was heavy & loud,” said frontman Joe Morton, of the EP. “We just wanted to make massive songs that people could be buzzing about...just straight down the middle bangers." They've achieved this tenfold.
The first track on the EP, "She's So Hot," comes in fast, all screaming guitars and thick drums. It was probably the best choice of the six songs for the opener - it'll lock in listeners who were curious and wondering if the listen would be worth it, while detering anyone who doesn't have the guts for The Roly Mo in the first place. After wading through that track, we're hit with "Diamond Doll," swagger incarnate, so rough and groovy it almost hurts. "Count to Ten" is our first break from the noise, and while none of us would admit it, sometimes it's nice to be able to catch your breath. It's a slower song, something closer to indie.
"Stuck in a Rut" is my favorite on the EP - it was the track I was most drawn to on first listen, and as I sit here, now on my fourth (or maybe fifth?) listen of the night, I'm realizing it's that riff after the chorus that reeled me in. "Control Yourself" was released as a single almost exactly a month ago, and is one of the more radio-friendly songs on the EP.
TRM is a collection of songs I'll have on repeat for weeks, now that it's right at my fingertips. It's truly masterfully curated - each track has its place and is clearly something the band are proud of. “To us, TRM is our way of expressing thoughts on our day to day life, from feelings of lust, loss and addictions - this is us, young and reckless," said bassist Andrew Noble on their debut EP. The Roly Mo make music that lays all of their cards on the table, and it's that authenticity that makes their music so good. That, and the immense talent it's obvious they all carry. It's one of the best debuts I've heard in a very long time.
I need gigs to come back because part of me feels like seeing The Roly Mo live and shouting along would be more cathartic than going to therapy (I jest, kids, go to therapy). In the meantime, The Roly Mo can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You'll want to keep up with them - they're clearly on the rise, and watching where they go from here will be quite the show.