“Pulse” is the debut solo album by Thomas Giles also known as Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me. This album has got a lot to offer in terms of styles and music ranges; from heavy industrial beats and guitar-driven rockers to electronic tracks and acoustic pop songs. Rogers not only played all instruments but also produced the album. The result is great: a powerful but nuanced and – most important – clear sound.
Although consisting of many different ideas and passages the songs are very accessible because they aren’t overly intellectual. This shows that Rogers knows how to compose great music with a more or less unique sound although some song moments remind me of Nine Inch Nails or alternative rock bands like Muse. The opener ‘Sleep Shake’ and ‘Catch & Release’ are great examples for that. Then there is the sparse singer/songwriter piece ‘Scared’ in full contrast to ‘Medic’, the heaviest track of the album. These huge dynamical differences are great and, combined with the genre changes, take the listener through many different musical directions. ‘Mr. Bird’ is a piano ballad with harmony vocals (all sung by Rogers, of course), for example. There are even songs like ‘Reverb Island’ or ‘Armchair Travel’ that have a kind of 60’s pop vibe to them. Besides the great compositions Rogers’ vocals are also very good, showcasing a versatile and melodic voice as well as darker screams and shouts.
Due to the great stylistic and dynamical changes of almost every song it is hard to pick a favourite – there aren’t any weak points. However, he still has to deliver mind-blowing songs that really push boundaries. Just mixing genres isn’t enough. I have the feeling that although all the songs are good there still is room for more.