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Tiles - Window Dressing CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.39 | 65 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This is Tiles fourth album and my first experience with this band, and I have to say that it wasn't one of the most pleasant musical experiences I have ever had. In short, what you get here is an album that wears its Rush influences on its sleeve but fails to match the legendary band for writing talent.

The big problem is that it feels like one or two tracks have been recycled several times to come up with an album. Once you here the "epic" opener and title track you have a good idea of what everything else will sound like, there are few surprises left. In fact, I would be tempted to award my first 1 star review if it wasn't for a run of four very good songs in the middle. Capture the Flag, Tear-Water Tea, Stop Gap and Unicornicopa (the last two being instrumental's) are all very good songs and well worth listening to, almost enough to consider giving this album 3 stars, but then Paintings starts and your back to trying to stay awake. Of these four songs, Capture the Flag is the one that really gets to me, it really does sound like they were trying hard to get a great riff going to hold the song together without sounding forced and unnatural, with some very interesting instrumental breaks, thanks mainly to the guest guitar playing of Kim Mitchell, which is superb. Tear-Water Tea is a poppy ballad, much slower than the rest of the songs on here but, unlike other attempts that countless bands have made at this kind of song, Tiles pull it off with lots of feeling and flare, backed up brilliantly by Matthew Parmenter's tasteful violin playing that really makes the song, so kudos to Tiles for pulling this off were so many others have failed. The two instrumental's are much slower and more "ethereal" than all the other songs on here and beautifully done, proving to be a real highlight of the album and giving it a more varied flavour.

However, there's nothing else to shout about on this album. The title track Window Dressing starts off not too badly but quickly fades into a forced and ad-hock attempt at creating an epic, with the result being some sections of interesting music interspersed with dull rubbish. But its the second track, Remember to Forget, that sets the tone for the album, and I really do want to forget it. The main riff sounds very similar to the one on Capture the Flag, but the big difference is that here it sounds very laborious and forced, creating a sense of boredom. Worst of all, it sounds like the track is recycled on the remaining vocal tracks that I haven't mentioned yet, with closer, Spindrift, being the worst. As for the members of the band, its hard to judge just how good they are as this whole album just sounds so lackluster, but I get the impression that they are definitely capable of holding their own if they could write something to match their playing ability.

If your still going to get this then can I suggest that you get the InsideOut two disc version, with the second disc being a 40 minute live bootleg from the bands 1999 Presence of Mind tour in Europe, supporting Dream Theater. Bare in mind that Window Dressing is my first, and so far only, experience of Tiles, I was astonished by this bootleg. The sound quality is not particularly brilliant but the overall quality of the music is night and day ahead of the main disc, the difference is stunning as the live materiel is so much better.

I give this album 2 stars as, for the most part, its dull as dish water, but contains 20 minutes of excellent materiel that any fan of heavy prog would love to hear, its just a shame that you have to wade through a load of rubbish to get to it.

sleeper | 2/5 |


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