Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thomas Giles - Pulse


Band: Thomas Giles
Album: Pulse
Genre: Progressive/Experimental Rock/Electronica

Alright all you die-hard BTBAM fanatics.  The time has come.  Tommy Rogers has just released his debut album for his solo-project entitled Pulse.  The album is different to say the least, with familiar traces of the ambiance that is brought to Between the Buried and Me, through Tommy Rogers' presence.  That's all well and good, but how does the album stand, on it's own?

This album, is very different, in the sense that it's very "out there."  It has elements of rock, infused, at points, with odd electronica beats and keyboard-play.  Overall, Rogers, delivers a solid work as a whole, that really shows the creative ability to push the limits of his musicianship.

If you've been a fan of BTBAM since the early years, I think you can all agree that through the years, you can see a vast progression in the vocal abilities of Rogers.  The chronology of Tommy's vocal advancements was not put to a halt with the release of  Pulse.  Honestly, Rogers give his most solid vocal performance to date on this album.  Perhaps it's because he doesn't utilize his screams very much, or perhaps it's because he's just learned over time.  Regardless, it sounds very precise and wonderful.  A prefect example lies in the chorus to the opening track on the album, "Sleep Shake."

As far as the music goes on this album, I think it's safe to say that it is very layered.  Not in a bad way of course.  You just pick something new out of the background of sound every time you give the album a listen.  I really enjoyed the fact that the keys and synth are, in a sense, the "main character" of the instruments on the album.  I always enjoyed the ambient synth passages, or the elegant ringing of the piano filling the void of silence in said songs.  Rogers also incorporates elements of guitar, implementing very soulful, relaxed, and tranquil solos, as heard in the third track on the album, "Mr. Bird."

Other tracks on the album, such as "Scared" (track six), take on the tone of an indie folk artist.  It's simply Tommy and an acoustic guitar.  It sounds terrific, for he knows how to play, as well as keep a tune.  He doesn't try too hard to show off with his play, nor his vocal abilities.  He keeps it simple, and it pays off.  While Rogers doesn't noticeably try too hard to impress his audience, he still transcends all his prior work with this album.  That's a sign of a true musician.

I found Pulse to be a rather well balanced album.  All of the tracks seemed to meld together to form a solid cohesive whole, while still possessing the individuality of each individual track.  This can be said for every track on the album, minus track four, entitled "Catch & Release."  I found this track to be the metaphorical crack in the foundation, that left this album a little short from perfection.  Essentially, "Catch & Release" is a three minute and twenty-five second song with club beats that sounded too close to dubstep for my taste, harsh vocals that didn't match the vibe of the song, and the deep, talking vocals that just sounded awful.  I hate to say it, but the song sucks.  And, it really disappoints me, because had the song been different, Pulse would have, without a doubt, gotten the first 10 out of 10 on this blog.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  Luckily, the rest of the album is so good, this one track didn't ruin the rest of the album.   Track four is the only complaint I have with this album.

So, if you're a fan of Between the Buried and Me, or dig any sort of progressive or experimental tunes, I highly recommend this album.  It's most likely already in my running for the top albums of 2011, and I'm sure will remain there until the decision is made.  This album is filled to the brim with musical talent, layered ambiance, and overall terrific tunes that are likely to please the ears of many.  Give this album a listen.

Score: 9/10