Normally I tend to shy away from domestic electro releases, paying closer attention to European trendsetters. However, the sonic tables were turned on me with Pulse Legion' amazing One Thing album. A true synthesized feast for the ears, One Thing puts forth a mass of dark, brooding rhythms and sinister structures that command attention. From the eerie opener "Anoxia" (displaying an array of sampled female vocals) to the astonishing "Out From In Me," Pulse Legion prove their mastery of creative electronic sound sculpting. The L.A. based trio handle complex sound structures with ease and combine ruthless drum and percussion programming to bring a heightened level of energy to their music. The album's fourth track, entitled "Despair," is loaded with brilliant electro rhythms and bass lines perfectly suited for the tracks ominous chorus. The band not only show their incredible attention to every musical detail, but also prove their production talents where the vocals are concerned. Instead or relying on the tried and true distorted vocal formula, Pulse Legion use a unique combination of effects that provide the ideal accompaniment to their sonic boom.
The album's title track starts out with space age sounds that place one's mind in orbit. Following this brief interstellar visit, the song moves onto a steady electro dance pattern showered with ambient textures. "Faith in Sin" combines robotic vocal arrangements with visionary musical patterns that provide a climactic theme to the album. All of this is pulled off without a hitch, and the band never neglects essential songwriting and attention to melody. And just as the album is drawing near to a close, the aptly titled "Who Decides" come along, taking command of the aural soundscape. This track is sure to shake up dance floors across America with its relentless rhythms and grooves.
The album's final track "Panic" is the only instrumental piece, yet it offers stunning keyboard mechanics and computer generated sounds which seem to engulf the listener from all sides.
Nothing short of stunning, One Thing is a must for any EBM-Rivethead that appreciates a higher level of electronic wizardry.
Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com
--Jorge C. Galban