(Between the Buried and Me)
By Mark Hensch
Ahh yes, the vanity project, that time-honored
offshoot of bands galore, an alternate avenue when any act can have yet
another outfit that is musically the opposite of the original band. Fronting
the seminal metalcore act Between the Buried and Me, Thomas Giles Rogers,
Jr. lets loose a surprisingly inverted stage persona with his new side-project
Giles. While BTBAM plays some seriously heavy stuff, Giles sounds like
the naughtiest house club in L.A. doing some hardcore dancing to gritty
and freakish video game bleeps and bloops. Crazy, kinky, wicked, and oddly
well-arranged, Giles is music for both electronica collectors and those
who aren't so much into the genre but rather well-done music that also
refuses to compromise entertainment and strong hooks and beats.
Back to the name of the Giles frontman,
Thomas Giles Rogers, Jr. It's got kind of a catchy ring to it, doesn't
it? So does the Giles sound itself. What drew me into actually reviewing
this disc is the fact Giles crafts industrial/house/electroclash music
so bloody catchy you can't get it out of you head. Giles is catchy in the
same way (as the band somewhat accurately states in its bio) as Fischerspooner
and even the Postal Service, except this Postal Service sound is drenched
in wicked evil and has the raunchy, playful mischief inherent in a rave
filled with stripping go-go dancers.
Such behavior is apparent in even the first
track, "Slumber Party," the industrial raunch anthem that sounds like doors
slamming, computers glitching, and an electronic drum freakout or two.
"Sea of Skin" is a danceable soundtrack to an "Adults Only" rated videogame
"Attackin' somehow manages to make a cyber-core
monster of cartoonish violence and adrenal fist throwing. It is almost
a testosterone-soaked hardcore song pounded through a conveyor belt of
It's chant of "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT" will
make you want to do just that, regardless of who or what it is. "Naked
Brew" is a laid-back electronica jam that sneers at listeners with it's
digitized, robotic, and mechanical smile.
"Desk Seeking Spades" is a foot-tapping
house track, and "Beane" slowly speeds up into frantic electronica worthy
of some skinny-kid hardcore dancing. "Gup Gown" sounds like more dirty
arcade games at the Carnival, and its make-no-sense chant of "Do the Armwrestle"
will inspire a few chuckles every spin.
"Replay" is a slick-as-oil seduction piece,
and album closer "Go Centipede" is a nightmarish mixture of industrial/house/electroclash/simple
absurdity that will drop some jaws.
I don't know how it was done, but the normally
hardcore label of Victory Records has stumbled upon a fairly awesome and
entertaining electronica artist, albeit one of their own. Giles twists
his own vanity project into an often surreal soundscape of debauchery and
almost comedic insanity, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking
for some passable electronica stuff. Scratch that, above passable. Giles
is the man, and this is one "Slumber Party" everyone can have fun at.
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