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Released: 2004, InsideOut Music
Returning after a 5-year break (aside from the live PRESENCE IN EUROPE 1999 album in 2000), American prog-heads Tiles mark their return to action with this extensive hour-plus ride. It’s hard to believe that as a band, Tiles have been around for a decade, but really this album is only their fourth in all that time. Still, when a band counts among their fans such diverse personalities as Mike Portnoy and Gene Simmons, they must be doing something right.
Throughout their career Tiles have often been compared to the prog-gods Rush. Judging by WINDOW DRESSING (my first exposure to the band) that is definitely an apt description, as you can clearly the musical influence of that band in songs like “Window Dressing” and “Tear-Water Tea”. That’s a problem for me, because, despite their obvious musical talents, I loathe almost all of Rush’s music, regardless of a couple of great songs. However, taken on its own merits, I’d listen to Tiles any day over Rush. The reason being that Paul Rarick’s vocals are fantastic (typical for a prog band) and the band manages to remain mostly heavy despite the long and sometimes bizarre song structures. Also, the band has a penchant for writing what are almost radio-friendly melodies, and some of the songs on this disc are downright catchy.
Still, there is something off-putting about WINDOW DRESSING and damned if I can figure out what it is. It could be that some of the songs are just plain dull, I don’t know. But whatever, it intense prog-metal is your thing, this just might float your boat.
1) Window Dressing
2) Remember to Forget
3) All She Knows
4) Capture the Flag
5) Tear-Water Tea
6) Stop Gap
10) Slippers in the Snow
Chris Herin: Guitars
Paul Rarick: Vocals
Jeff Whittle: Bass
Pat DeLeon: Drums
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