Rolla – Nothing Less Than Everything
Rolla are a new five-piece band from Manchester, featuring James Gilmore on vocals, Luke McConnell on guitar, Luke Gilmore on bass, Tom Paddon on guitar and Saul Bardsley on drums. The sound is very much the Manchester scene in its 90s halcyon days, owing a lot to Oasis and The Stone Roses. They’ve already opened for Kasabian and Shaun Ryder, so odds on they’re going places.
The video for current single Hey You recalls the madness of the rave scene back in the day – all twisty arms and exuberant jaws, the odd neon scrunchie. Gilmore’s vocals are fully-formed-rock-star, mixing a nihilistic and confrontational attitude with the ultimately kindly shaman of “big nights out” vibe that Liam Gallagher gives off. The chorus is catchy and the guitars wavy. There’s the old immortal braggadocio of youth and rock, “I’m too fast to die”. The lyrics swagger: “I’ll take what’s mine/ I’m the trigger, you’re a subpar design” – which is a neat diss.
Full of bravado, the opening track of the EP, What Kid, brags “I know your type, sonny / You’ll never be just what I am” but is also full of a kind of big brother energy to a disaffected kid: “Nothing’s gonna change you / Where’s your fear?”. Ease My Mind is similarly bombastic: “Let me out, let me loose, let me prove ya.”
When Life’s Thunder Is Striking is slower and more ballad-like, sung to a girl with brown eyes, or possibly heroin: “And now she’s flowing round your heart / You forget about the come down part”. Final track Explain Yourself to No One goes out in a blaze of fuzz and reverb.
As opening statements of intent go, Nothing Less Than Everything is pretty good. The lyrics are effective, with flares of poetic obliqueness, but could do with more of the detail that brings the generic into crystalline specificity so that one feels the band are addressing real people and situations, rather than possibly imagined stereotypes. Solid vocals and musicianship make for an otherwise convincing experience, with hooks that are catchy with an infectious energy.
Nothing Less Than Everything is released on 5th April 2023. For further information or to order the album visit Rolla’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Hey You here: