Pulse Ultra hovers around two of rock radio's biggest trends circa the 2002 release of their debut. On one hand, the post-grunge sweepstakes entry obviously came back a winner, with vocalist Zo sounding eerily like Bush singer Gavin Rossdale, especially on "Big Brother" and "Build Your Cages," with several other tracks containing a melodramatic crunch not far from what Creed does. Yet at the same time, the Montreal-based outfit borrows heavily from the more avant-garde styles of Tool ("Put It Off"), and other moments are more firmly rap-metal in nature ("Void" could be Incubus). While there's nothing wrong with drawing from many different sources -- to be sure, the best music usually does -- you still can't help but think of one thing when listening to Headspace: contrived.
by Brian O'Neill