Tiles — Tiles
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 156, 1994/2004, CD)
by Mike Grimes, Published 1995-11-01
That just has to be Max Bacon on vocals! It must be – you know that singer guy from GTR, the most progressive rock band that Steve Howe and Steve Hackett were ever in? If I had to pick out someone else who Rarick sounded like, it would be really tough, but I'd have to go with Don Dokken – just a little bit though on the louder parts. Rarick, like Bacon, has a good range but, also like Bacon, has kind of a thin voice. It's hard to buy some of the more irate lyrics when the guy has such a pure and clean tone. Before it starts to sound like I'm slamming the guy, let me add that Rarick is actually a good vocalist and adds some worthy backing vocal harmonies too. But man, did I mention that he sure sounds a lot like...
The band's sound is guitar driven. There are a few scattered keyboard lines, but they are so infrequent and secondary that they aren't really part of the band's sound. Guitarist Chris Herin is responsible for most of the album's sonic variety. His sound reminds me at times of Andy Summers, Alex Lifeson, and Eric Johnson. Each track uses different guitar tones, and Herin stays away from playing too many power chords. He's always strumming something melodic and he plays in a distinct style for each of the tracks. While almost all the songs are guitar / bass / drums trio arrangements, because of the guitarist's impressive stylistic palette, no two songs really sound alike. That in itself is pretty impressive. The entire band can sound like mid-80s-era Rush at times, especially "Token Pledge." For the most part though, Tiles' sound is pretty distinctive. The drummer surely doesn't sound like Neil Peart, and the bass playing is quite funky throughout the entire album with picking and slapping galore. "Retrospect" is an interesting acoustic guitar solo with some stimulating melodies. The instrumental section of "Dancing Dogs" is one of the coolest parts of the album, and "Scattergram" utilizes unexpected chord changes in the chorus to great effect. Fans of any of the influences listed above will surely enjoy this release. It's pretty much rock-formatted, song-oriented numbers, but the guitarist's versatility provides the necessary touch to keep each tune interesting.
Related artist(s): Tiles
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more