“Modern Noise” is the second solo release from Thomas Giles, a/k/a Tommy Rogers from Between
the Buried and Me. Like its predecessor “Pulse,” “Modern Noise” is quite different from Between
the Buried and Me -- which is the point of doing solo albums, after all. “Modern Noise” is basically Tommy experimenting with no restrictions, which is what he did on “Pulse.” The difference
is that the songs on “Modern Noise,” for the most part, fit into two buckets: Radiohead-like, synth-laded experimental rock, and guitar-driven alternative rock. The album basically veers back and forth between the
two styles, occasionally even within the same song, like “Mutilated World” and the title track.
The album does have an unusual moment with “Blueberry Queen,” which is basically old-time southern blues. It makes for a nice experiment, but it really sticks out like a sore thumb on the album. Songs like the opening instrumental “Wise And Silent” and “We Wander Lonely” are examples of the heavy Radiohead influence, while “Siphon
the Bad Blood” is driven by a rocking bass guitar line. “Modern Noise” might experiment less than “Pulse,” but it’s still comes off rather schizophrenic.
If you enjoyed “Pulse,” I think you’ll enjoy “Modern Noise” as well. Tommy has a very good voice and this is a great way for him to showcase his clean vocals without having to do any death vocals. For those wanting the insane world of Between
the Buried and Me (like bassist Dan Briggs’ solo project Trioscapes), this is not the place for that sort of music. It’s great that the band can afford its members time to do solo projects like this, so they can reconvene and be all the stronger for it. “Modern Noise” is a catchy, melodic experiment that is quite enjoyable.