For Fans Of
It seems solo projects are both inherently and traditionally compromised by the notion that an artists individual credibility is almost always diminished by a need to make comparisons to one’s original band.
However, there is one way to alleviate this. One which Between the Buried and Me front man Tommy Giles Rogers Jr. certainly does in this specific instance, with both direct and unwavering intent. That is, create an album that is so far removed from his mainstay musical project that we can cease to make comparison and therefore begin to analyse the solo offering on its own merits.
Entitled ‘Pulse‘, this eleven track aural mix is an electronic, keyboard heavy album that focuses on the melodic and emotive elements of the sonic range. Let’s not slap a grandiose, masterpiece label on this just because it has BTBAM ties but instead critique it on its own virtues. Looking at this album dispassionately and purely in isolation we find an engaging and highly curious listening experience that drags you in even if you’re not totally sold on the style.
‘Reverb Island‘ is the album’s first lively moment, with the kick drum keeping the track grounded as well as moving. While ‘Medic‘ is probably the only point on the full-length that channels BTBAM explicitly. Sounding like a ‘Colors‘ b-side, with a metallic, prog styling. ‘Sleep Shake‘ is a five minute musical melting pot, drawing inspiration from everything from Pink Floyd to King Crimson and even subtle traces of Reznor and co.
Concluding track ‘Hypoxia‘ might be one of the most beautiful musical creations this year. Resonating like a more optimistic version of a Tim Burton soundtrack. The final song is moving, moody and peaceful.
This is a bit more refined than Rogers‘ previous solo endeavour, simply titled ‘Giles‘, which was a bit muddled and messy at times. A tick in favour of this release is its obvious sincerity. Too often solo projects are nothing more than narcissistic, self-celebratory dribble that serve only the artists inflamed ego. Not in this case however. ‘Pulse‘ will probably catch you off guard. But sometimes good things are those which come unexpectedly.
For all you metal head and prog rock lovers, ‘Pulse’ will offer a refreshing change of pace that breaks up the steady and constant doses of blast beats and breakdowns that a diet of heavy music seemingly brings. Props to Metal Blade for having the balls to put out a release like this.
1. Sleep Shake
2. Reverb Island
3. Mr. Bird
4. Catch And Release
5. Hamilton Anxiety Scale
7. Reject Falicon
9. Suspend the Death Watch
10. Armchair Travel