Considering the frenetic nature and the multiple personalities of Between The Buried & Me, it really is little surprise that the members have other musical ventures that they wish to explore. Earlier in the year bassist Dan Briggs revealed his avant-garde, frenzied Jazz project Trioscapes, and now vocalist Tommy Rogers presents his own project, Thomas Giles. Where Trioscapes channels the band’s dissonant and more challenging side however, Modern Noise (Metal Blade) offers the more tuneful, accessible persona, even if it does show its own restlessness.
Modern Noise is, in comparison to the other aforementioned acts, a more streamlined and simpler affair but it still shows Rogers’ wide and eclectic tastes and influences. Album opener ‘Wise And Silent’ is a dose of ambient electronica for example, which contrasts entirely to ‘Siphon The Bad Blood’ which has a much more traditional rock feel, with its rumbling bass riff and punchy chorus. A huge comparison has to be made with Faith No More in the sense of doing multiple genres and styles on one album; and of course in Rogers’ Patton aping delivery on the jazzy lounge number ‘Blueberry Queen’.
Of course Rogers’ vocals are so distinctive that this will always draw gazes towards BTBAM but where this release does distance itself is in the lack of heaviness; no signs of death metal or growls whatsoever, moving instead towards a warmer, more airy atmosphere. On the likes of ‘I Appear Disappear’ and ‘Wander Drug’ there is even a likeness to bands of the Radiohead influence of softer, more emotion driven Prog such as The Pineapple Thief.
An album with an array of influences and styles present in such a concise manner, with those immediately recognizable pipes on it, was always going to be heavily compared to the mothership act; but this does enough to walk on its own feet. Numerous listens reveal different intricacies and an alternate variety of sounds than BTBAM, approached in a more streamlined manner, yet still offers enough for those who demand their music to be thought provoking.