Thomas Giles
Modern Noise


3.7
great

Review

by Insurrection CONTRIBUTOR (111 Reviews)
November 25th, 2014 | 21 replies


Release Date: 11/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A coherent musical journey through the mind of Thomas Giles Rogers.

The release of Pulse by Between the Buried and Me frontman Thomas Giles Rogers, under the simplified moniker Thomas Giles, nullified any doubts fans of the group may have had about Tommy’s musical ability. Pulse was overflowing with ambition, from the bombastic lead single ‘Sleep Shake’, the broken electro-experimental ‘Catch & Release’, to the ominous piano melody at the end of the fantastic progressive whirlwind that is ‘Mr. Bird’. That’s not to say it was a perfect album, though. Many ideas were perhaps too far-fetched for their own good – on a track-by-track basis there wasn’t much cohesion to be found. Regardless, the fact remains that Pulse was a healthy reminder that Tommy Rogers plays as integral a role in the band as the rest of Between the Buried and Me. Now, on Thomas Giles’ sophomore release Modern Noise, the one-man-band (with the addition of former band member Will Goodyear on drums) shows a few new tricks up his sleeve while ironing out the songwriting kinks present in Pulse, resulting in a cohesive, wholly impressive addition to Mr. Rogers catalog and the genre of prog rock itself.

The biggest improvement from Thomas Giles’ debut is the fact that Modern Noise feels like a full album rather than a collection of tracks. A smooth, crystal clear production job by Jamie King provides a beautiful atmospheric tapestry for the singer-songwriter to stretch and mold to his liking. Rather than opening with a massively grandiose single, Modern Noise eases you in with what sounds like a long lost B-side from Radiohead’s Amnesiac sessions. ‘Wise and Silent’ is an ethereal instrumental that serves as both the foundation for the rest of the record and also as one of the album’s numerous highlights. ‘Mutilated World’, one of the album’s more accessible cuts, demonstrates Rogers’ knack for building layers upon layers of varying textures, allowing for a wall-of-sound effect in the song’s climax. Other standout moments include the guest solo from fellow band mate Paul Waggoner on ‘I Appear Disappear’, the electro-gothic vibe throughout ‘We Wander Lonely’ which itself sounds like Slipknot’s ‘Vermillion’ stripped down and industrialized in the most pleasant way possible, and the eponymous closer that combines Rogers’ talent for building up tension and releasing it, closing the album with the sense of completeness and satisfaction that was absent from Pulse.

From a technical standpoint, Tommy Rogers has certainly come into his own on Modern Noise. His instrumental skills have improved vastly on all fronts – guitar, vocals, and programming – which allowed him to explore a variety of different styles while sounding completely authentic in doing so. The aforementioned organ driven ‘We Wander Lonely’ is juxtaposed between two of the most different tracks on the album. ‘Blueberry Queen’ acts as a callback to the early 20th century jazz scene with a laid-back bluesy feel and Tommy’s low, drunken timbre alluding to what you’d hear at an old smoky tavern in the ‘20s. On the other hand, ‘M3’ is one of the more straightforward tracks on Modern Noise – a guitar driven rock song with circus-esque overtones a la BtBaM, topped with an incredibly infectious vocal motif in the chorus. Tommy also debuts a new tonal yelling tactic on ‘Siphon the Bad Blood’ giving the chorus a heavy metal feel. He does this without drifting into his usual hardcore screams, which are nowhere to be found on Modern Noise; and thankfully so, because they really wouldn’t fit anywhere on the record organically.

Mind you, Modern Noise does have its faults. All songs are structured very well, which itself is great, but some of the longer tracks tend to dip into predictable territory as the songs progress due to their formulaic nature. Also, while no song stands out as a dud, the album does lose some steam near the end, at least until ‘Modern Noise’ wraps up the listening experience with a tightly knit bow. Modern Noise isn’t revolutionary in the progressive rock scene, and it doesn’t try to be – it’s simply a coherent musical insight into the mind of Thomas Giles Rogers, and due to his flourishing talent, happens to be quite a beautiful journey.

Recommended Tracks:
Wise and Silent
We Wander Lonely
M3
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Modern Noise



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

wish i could give this a 3.7



you can hear "mutilated world" and "siphon the bad blood" here: http://www.metalblade.com/thomasgiles/

IAMLEGION
November 25th 2014


257 Comments


Really digging the album. I love the more straightforward rock tracks.

Mad.
November 25th 2014


4674 Comments


This sounds pretty cool, pos

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


32190 Comments


wish i could give this a 3.7


Your wish has been granted


ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


4408 Comments


Holy shit, Dev. Nice writeup. Haven't jammed BTBAM in forever, but I might as well try this out anyway.

wwf
November 25th 2014


5660 Comments


Oh nice this is out already?

Wasn't super impressed by Siphon The Bad Blood but this'll probably be fairly good.

Good review, it definitely sounds like for the most part this is an improvement over Pulse.

Digging: Terror Pigeon! - We Will Never Run Out of Love!

jkr5001
November 25th 2014


44 Comments


I'm digging this way more than Pulse. I think the addition of Will Goodyear on drums definitely helps.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

youre the best dev :D



"I think the addition of Will Goodyear on drums definitely helps."



ah i totally forgot he was on this. its cool that the band still keep in touch and collab with former members

bloc
November 25th 2014


44378 Comments


Not expecting this to be more than a 3 tbh

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

pulse is like a 3.2 for me and this is better in pretty much every way

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2014


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

dp

henryChinaski
November 26th 2014


3883 Comments


Never listened to his solo stuff. I'll just start with this release. Loving that artwork. Nice write-up!

Digging: Kiasmos - Blurred EP

Mesm277
November 27th 2014


602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really digging I Appear Disappear and Modern Noise. Overall this is either a 3 or 3.5. Not sure yet

withateethuh
December 1st 2014


203 Comments


That is a really nice album cover.

LunaticSoul
December 10th 2014


978 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So much bland stuff in here. I heard a lot of praise for Pulse, so I may have to check that one.

jredmond
December 26th 2014


223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Does Paul play all the guitars on this?

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2014


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

as far as i know his only contribution is the solo on 'i appear disappear'

Angelboros
March 16th 2015


1346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I still can't get enough of Blueberry Queen. It's a short track, but a rather sweet one at that.

Digging: Shiina Ringo - Sanmon Gossip

ExhaleTheLight
October 10th 2015


274 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Still trying to figure out the lyrics on M3, seems really personal I think. "so why do I lose the two things I love more than life"

TundraL5Z
April 29th 2017


412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am very glad i got around to hearing this, pleasantly surprised with this, Tommy did some cool things here

Digging: Ne Obliviscaris - Urn



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