There are many surprises contained in Pulseve’s debut E.P. “Magnet”, not least the fact that the band is a duo; and a drum and bass duo at that. But drums and bass are the rhythm section, right? In reality, the sound is infinitely more complex than the configuration of the band would suggest; certainly they are strong on rhythm: complex time signatures and polyrhythms will please the math rock aficionados. The drumming is strong and varied, while the bass is percussive and melodic, at times utilising repeated themes, at other times using a post-metal approach to sound, effects and possibly some improvisation. The effects add tone and colour to the four instrumentals collected here, allowing Pulseve to fill the musical space traditionally taken up by a full band. To deliver the melody using the bass is a neat trick and there not too many musicians who could pull it off. But Pulseve have the belief and the technical ability to produce a compelling set of songs in a unique and original format.
“Kissing Like Piranas (Self Destruction Disguised As Love)” uses bass effects and harmonics to produce a fascinating piece, unusual in almost every aspect. Diego Franchino’s driving drums and Maurizio Veglio’s almost metallic-sounding bass explore complex rhythmic ideas as they combine elements of math rock, ambient, post-metal and some real prog moments. Like the other songs here, the structure is complex and engaging, while the effect is almost other-worldly.
“Night Skydiving (Desire To Men Is Gravity To Earth)” layers drums, distorted bass lines and harmonics to good effect. At times unapologetically heavy, at others restrained and subtle, its atmospheric passages play well against the harder aspects of the song; and all the while the rhythms remain challenging and out of the ordinary.
“The Last Bullfight (Ultimatum Por El Matador)” starts quietly enough then mutates into a battery of bass and drums; parts of it are almost doom-like but the rhythms keep it off balance and left field. It is progressive in intent, unwilling to settle for too long on one idea before moving swiftly onto the next. And all the while, the listener has to keep reminding themselves that this is just two musicians.
“Vulchaos (Chill Magma Before Use)” settles straight into a heavy groove with something of Tom Morello about the riff (but with less strings, obviously). This is a temporary state, however, before it heads off on a different path altogether, the drums anchoring the song and the bass moving through a myriad different sounds.
Pulseve’s “Magnet” is four remarkable songs delivered by two remarkable musicians. It’s unlikely you’ve heard anything quite like this before, but don’t let that put you off: there’s always room for originality and bands don’t come much more original than Pulseve.