Mollo Rilla’s music hearkens back to a rock and roll golden age of grit and debauchery, when leather clad rock stars were guided by their own rules. The band will host a release party for its self-titled debut album this Friday, May 3, at Mahall’s in Lakewood.
The album is a robust 14 tracks, and Mollo Rilla’s fuzzed out and dark sound is a refreshing counterpoint to today’s antiseptic pop and electronica.
The band is inspired by groups like Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana and Detroit garage punk music like the Hentchmen, says Marco Ciofani, lead singer and guitarist of Mollo Rilla, who adds that they’re basically a three-piece rock band with a twist — and that twist is keyboardist Simeon Ruple, who adds an “extra terrestrial element” to the soundscape.
Mollo Rilla, which formed in Geauga County about a year ago, carries a patently rock and roll aesthetic. “I’m obsessed with rock bands who are relentlessly themselves,” says Ciofani. “They toss the middle finger up always. We live in an age where a lot of bands are doing that.”
Despite its raucous veneer, Mollo Rilla’s musicians take their craft seriously. “We practiced twice a week for seven months before even playing our first show,” Ciofani admits. “I like things to be right. As right and tight as it can be.” Heavy riffs and deft musicianship can be found throughout the debut album. “Ghetto Goul” embodies a spooky aesthetic, reminiscent of the Cramps. The song “Odyssey” pairs thrashing, fuzzed out riffs with prog-style keyboards, embellished by Ciofani’s skillful vocal work, which alternates between haunting and screaming.
Combining such disparate influences as Latin chord progressions and heavy rock are what makes the band’s musical tapestry unique. “We just love music and all kinds of music,” Ciofani adds.
The album also features Austin Adams on bass and backup vocals and Ben Cunningham on drums. Credit for Mollo Rilla’s rich sound can also be given to Akron Recording Company, where the album was recorded. “We did three songs in one day (as part of a planned EP), and we just enjoyed our time there so much. Ben (Patrick) and Nate (Bucher) are beautiful, hard-working guys.”
Akron Recording Company, he adds, is “one of the best things to happen in the Akron-Cleveland area. They supply an amazing space, with a good price and good quality and are really great dudes. It’s exactly what DIY bands in this area needed.”
The record’s eerie artwork, created by Cleveland artist Garth Phillips, is an ideal accompaniment to its sound. Phillips, who owns Cleveland Print Company, also created the band’s logo and T-shirts. “He is an absolute genius,” says Ciofani. “His artwork is amazing. I gave him an idea on a 2-by-2 post-it note and two weeks later he had this beautiful mockup with pen and ink.”
The album release party takes place Friday, May 3, at 9 p.m. at Mahall’s, 13200 Madison Ave., in Lakewood. Mollo Rilla will be joined by Anaconda Vampire Bats and The Dreemers (which features the aforementioned Ben Patrick on vocals and guitar).
The album, which also will be available as a double vinyl, may be ordered at https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mollo-rilla. For info about the band, visit https://www.facebook.com/mollorilla/.
For info about the May 3 event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/304067706934995/.