Pulse Ultra Headspace

Sometimes you put on a disc for the first time and find you're caught a little off guard. This is what happened upon listening to Montreal-based Pulse Ultra's debut CD, Headspace. Vocalist Zo Vizza grabs you by the throat almost immediately with his strong, fluttering voice. Although lyrically Pulse Ultra is not that far from the centre, it is the bass, drums, guitar triangle that surrounds Vizza that stand out. Guitarist Dominic Cifarelli and bassist Jeff Feldman sound as if they are one person, playing off one another to fill out the band's sound. All the while drummer Maxx Zinno solidly pulls the pieces together, guiding Cifarelli and Feldman back when they have gone too far off the beaten path. The best aspect about Headspace is that no player is sacrificed for another, which is something that is all too common in young bands, and each member of Pulse Ultra has a prominent place on the disc. The worst aspect of Headspace is that the band doesn't fly as freely away from the progressive rock pole as they should. (Warner)