Tommy Rogers, the visionary vocalist and keyboardist of critically-acclaimed progressive metal act, Between the Buried and Me, has dabbled in solo releases since 2004. It was his first solo release with Metal Blade, “Pulse,” that cemented his sound. With “Modern Noise,” Tommy’s ideas sound entirely realized and come together to form a much more cohesive and song-driven album than his previous efforts. What this means in plain English: there is a heck of a lot to sing along to on “Modern Noise.” Testing the limits of what he can do naturally with his voice, Rogers’ strikingly beautiful falsetto and dynamic range conjures tales of anxiety, collapse, end-times and strength against swelling, heart-lifting arrangements and pristine backdrops of ambient loops, digital burbles, analog hiss and woozy drones. Exploring combinations of the outré genres of both post-rock and electronic, the music’s emotionally resonant yet textural sounds draw reference to artists such as Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, the Verve, Beck, Oasis and Spiritualized, balancing both rock and electronic impulses.
Though Rogers is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (he recorded most everything himself on the previous album), for this new album he enlisted the talents of a former band mate. Fans will surely recognize percussionist Will Goodyear, who performed drums on “Modern Noise.” Goodyear, who is currently in Grohg, previously played with Tommy on the self-titled Between the Buried and Me album, as well as their previous band, Prayer for Cleansing. The two have a natural synergy, and that was only enhanced while working with longtime Between the Buried and Me producer, Jamie King, at The Basement Studios in North Carolina. Rogers adds, “having Will play on the record was such a wonderful experience. We have a very long history together and I’m glad we found a way to create something together again. He was a perfect addition to the record. He made every song better naturally and really brought the album to life. A very creative mind.” The two were quite happy with the result, Goodyear said: “Working on “Modern Noise” reminded me of how simple it is to make great music when you’re surrounded by the right people. The back and forth of the creative process between Tommy, Jamie, and myself was totally fulfilling, yielding some very cool unexpected moments.”
What is “Modern Noise“? The title is merely a statement that reflects what they are creating: their take on the modern rock sound. Tommy Rogers explains the title and music: “This record was an outcome of me creating songs while not wanting to over evaluate the music. I wanted to record things that naturally came to me and because of this, the record feels like an accurate extension of myself. I took a more rock approach and really focused on writing simple yet dynamic songs. Lyrically, I feel it’s a great mix of storytelling and personal experience. “Modern Noise” is basically just saying this is my current noise on the earth. We all are here for a short amount of time and the noise we make is our memory.”
Fans of Tommy’s work with Between the Buried and Me, as well as fans who steer clear of anything metal related, will find plenty to enjoy here as this is nothing short of a well written, genuine, and intensely passionate modern rock/progressive album. This is Tommy’s take on music, or as he says: “Music is always Modern Noise. I’m just a person in current time trying to create something somewhat new.”