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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Tiles - 2004 Window Dressing
Tiles - 2004 Window Dressing

Paul Rarick - vocals
Chris Herin - guitars
Jeff Whittle - bass
Pat DeLeon - drums

Tiles are one of those bands that play an expansive style within the progressive rock genre. By expansive, I'm grouping them in the same category as Spocks Beard, The Tangent, Enchant, and early Rush (pre 'Permanent Waves'). I'm sure for many of you, expansive also means long-winded pieces of music that really give the alarm clock a run for its money. With 'Window Dressing' that is very much the case, but I doubt if this Detroit based quartet are going to bore you to death as a result. Still, with a band like Tiles, it does help to have a pre-inclination towards all things 'progressive', and in that regard, I consider myself to be standing on safe ground. If we wind the clock back, Tiles, as you'll no doubt recall, released three previous albums during the 90's: 'Tiles', 'Fencing the Clear', and 'Presents of Mind'. Back then, they had an association with Terry Brown, better known as the 'fourth member of Rush'. That association continues to this day, with Brown again producing this album. When compared to their previous material, 'Window Dressing' is quite heavy, and adventurous too! Even more surprising considering their five-year absence. Isn't it amazing what a voluntary lay-off can do?

The Songs
Musically adventurous is the epic 17 minute opener 'Window Dressing'. Bloody hell, who apart from Pink Floyd and Todd Rundgren would be brave enough to open up with a track with this sort of running time? Ha ha. The song weaves through various passages which gives the appearance of several pieces of music however. It comes to a natural conclusion with a 'wind-down' section at the three-quarter mark, but the reprise at the tail whips back with the gritty intensity heard at the start. The pairing of 'Remember To Forget' and 'All She Knows' reflect the band's obvious Rush influence, particularly the latter. Tiles really get cranking on the heavy 'Capture The Flag'. This one grunts along superbly and for old time Max Webster fans, take a listen to Kim Mitchell's guitar work on this one! By the middle of the album Tiles are changing directions more often than a policeman on traffic duty! The reflective and often acoustic oriented 'Tear Water Tea' is offset by the very prog sounding 'Stop Gap', a song more from the Spocks Beard side of the sidewalk. Then we get a predominantly piano piece called 'Unicornicopia' which sounds out of place on this album, but what the hey? The redress is balanced with 'Paintings', another with a groove heavy guitar line and Rush like melodies. The 'sort-of' ballad 'Slippers In The Snow' was an aural struggle admittedly (didn't do anything for me I'm afraid), while the closer 'Spindrift' keeps all the best (or worst.. depending whether you like prog or not) elements intact on a track like 'Spindrift'. Again, Rush is a marker-point.

In Summary
Though this is their fourth album, they would admit that they still have a way to go to enter the big league held by the likes of Dream Theater and Threshold for instance. However, Tiles are one of many bands making a comeback in the prog world. Just look at the likes of IQ, Happy The Man, Proto-Kaw and a host of others. And with labels like GEP, and Inside Out there to support them, the movement appears to be relatively healthy.

URL: www.tiles-music.com
Track Time: 67:34
Sponsor: RiotOz Distribution

Track Listing:
01 Window Dressing
02 Remember To Forget
03 All She Knows
04 Capture The Flag
05 Tear Water Tea
06 Stop Gap
07 Unicornicopia
08 Paintings
09 A.02
10 Slippers In The Snow
11 Spindrift

Related Articles:

Tiles - 2004 Window Dressing

Tiles - 2008 Fly Paper

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