Fresh Earworms – Thomas Giles “Feel Better” EP Review

Just a quick introduction as I’m new to Indie Pong.  I’m your resident metalhead but I do dabble in the genres & sub-genres in and slightly out of metal including rock, prog, and even synthwave (the darker the better).  I’m the guy who wears a Ghost shirt one day and Dream Theater the next, with probably a Nile hat for good measure.  Anyhow, whether you enjoy death, black, thrash, tech, djent, symphonic, power, prog, post, doom, speed, whatever-core or any amalgamation of those sub-genres, I’ve got you covered with the latest and greatest. 

Some may be familiar with Thomas Giles as the singer of the incredibly diverse prog metal band from North Carolina, Between the Buried and Me (AKA BTBAM).  He’s also offered guest vocals on notable albums from Devin Townsend, Ayreon and August Burns Red.  What you may not know is that he has been putting out top-notch solo releases between his main band albums for years and with a brand new, surprise release EP out called “Feel Better”, it’s time to dive into his individual work.  His last full length from 2018 entitled, “Don’t Touch the Outside”, was a good album that further showcased the many talents of Giles.  The single from that album, “Milan”, featuring Kristoffer Rygg of Ulver, is a perfect starting place with Giles’ solo work and also a nice bridge into this EP.  “Feel Better” further solidifies this direction with three new tracks that are lush, emotive and uplifting.  Just what you need during the continued quarantine.  

The first track up is Fade It Out.  Bear with me, but I get slight Springsteen’s “Secret Garden” vibes during parts of this song, particularly at about the 2:17 mark.  In any case, I really like what Giles is doing on this one.  It’s straight forward but effective and the combination of keys, guitar and Giles’ always satisfying vocals are really special here.  

Next up is Never Enough.  Love the keys Giles lays down on this one.  The chorus also reminds me a bit of what Tommy offers with BTBAM (“Dim Ignition” from the “Coma Ecliptic” album comes to mind) but slowed down and more ambient.

The final track of the EP is Better, which is the most relaxing track offered here and the one I responded the most to.  Highly recommend listening to the FLAC files on high quality headphones and letting this one wash over you.  I’ve been a fan of Thomas Giles since 2005 when BTBAM released their now classic album, Alaska.  It has been very impressive to see how much Giles has continued to improve as a vocalist and musician overall and his solo releases continue to show just how versatile he is.    

Feel Better EP is now available on Bandcamp, Itunes, Spotify and most other digital platforms.  Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

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