Monday, January 31 2011 00:00


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51aMLi0MlaL. SL160 THOMAS GILES' PULSE (out February 1, 2011 via Metal Blade) is a curious record, a nearly unclassifiable sonic oddity. The latest solo effort from BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME frontman Tommy Rogers (Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr - hence, THOMAS GILES) is nothing like BTBAM in terms of execution, but is exactly like BTBAM in terms of composition. Most that could get past his band's metallic crust to see the beauty often hidden under layers of crunch and thunder would appreciate the complexity of BTBAM on every level (think 2007's COLORS album). In that, PULSE is a similar beast, but one that sounds completely different.

Traditional metal fans are likely to have one of two reactions: A) They'll absolutely hate it, or B) They'll give it a few listens and realize that what they're holding is something special.

PULSE is not a metal record, but an ambient-electronic-pop-rock album - an ever-shifting soundscape with elements of industrial music, acoustic folk, and sinister, yet beautiful melodies joining the march along the way. The closest you'll get to a BTBAM song on PULSE is on the guitar-driven "Medic," and this is a song that has more in common with MELVINS that BTBAM. Some of the shifts that come in (such as that around 2:45 on "Hamilton Anxiety Scale") recall the ambient aspects of MR. BUNGLE's DISCO VOLANTE, while the acoustic prowess displayed on songs like "Scared" and "Armchair Travel" blows away most of the flavor-of-the-moment indie rockers that show up on countless "top 10" lists every year, never to be heard from again. There's so many elements that surface, even making a proper comparison is inaccurate.

On PULSE, Thomas Giles establishes himself as a new torch-bearer for the type of artistic expansion that fellow musical auteurs like TRENT REZNOR and THOM YORKE displayed as they traveled the road before him. PULSE is simply a beautiful record.

Rating: 4.5/5

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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