Pulse - 'The Best Is Not Good Enough'

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Pulse - 'The Best Is Not Good Enough'

There isn't enough to make this album anything more than an interesting curio

If there's one thing that the slow, pitiful demise of record companies has ushered in, it is the home-grown, do it yourself attitude that serves up a plethora of (sometimes excellent) albums often reviewed in these good pages.

However, what those big, bad and often misguided A&R guys, record company exec's and "listening teams" ensured was that, on the whole, the records released sounded like the finished article. Not always good mind, but at least polished to an extent that you knew you had an "album" in your hands. However with the rise of truly independent releases, so we end up with talented youngsters, such as Dutch Eclecto-trio Pulse (not to be confused with the Vince O'Reagan/Paul Hodson-led outfit of the early 2000s) offering up what might be best described as a set of well recorded demos and questionably naming them 'The Best Is Not Good Enough'...

Don't get me wrong, the mix of Thrashy ideas sitting next to slices of Progressive Metal and driving Rock, all hint at real potential and yet you can't quite escape a sound which screams late 1970s budget production. Possibly if Pulse were aiming their entire sound at the up and at 'em, ethos of say, NWOBHMetallers Tank, or Fist, then the rattling drums, thumping bass and squealing guitars wouldn't sound so blatantly low-fi.

Singer Alissa Tissingh does manage to combine the power of Doro to the dynamics of Geddy Lee (it works much better than you'd think), proving she's a real force to be reckoned with, while guitarist Francis Starrk has a neat collection of riffs and solos at his disposal. And yet, it isn't enough to make this album anything more than an interesting curio - if you'd rummaged for hours through the stalls at a record fair for the early demos from some long lost Metal outfit and come up with '...Not Good Enough', you'd treasure it... in a naïve sort of way.

'The Best Is Not Good Enough'? Well on this evidence that would be harsh, after all everyone has to start somewhere, they just don't have to release it immediately to the big wide world.

Steven Reid

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