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  Window Dressing
Artist: Tiles
Label: Inside Out Records
Length: 11/66:17

It is fitting that “Window Dressing” is the title track for Detroit prog rockers Tiles’ fourth release: the leadoff track clocks in at over seventeen minutes, and comprises over one fourth of the album.   It is in itself a miniature rock opera that could stand on its own as an EP.  Chris Herrin’s guitar falls into the King’s X/Dream Theater range, while Paul Rarick’s vocals are more in line with Yogi or Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen).

As with most prog bands, some elements of Kansas can be heard, especially during “Tear-Water Tea,” which actually uses a violin.  Instrumental tracks “Stop Gap,” “Unicornicopia,” and “A.02” are tight, well-done, solid pieces that never become boring or repetitive.

Like King’s X, Tiles seems destined to become one of those band that has a loyal cult following, is huge in Europe, and is endorsed by other artists.  Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) have both offered high praise regarding them, and they have received rave reviews in Norway, The Netherlands, and Germany. 

Window Dressing is an excellent example of a progressive rock album with a more aggressive edge to it, and demonstrates the modern blurring of genres of music, yet not neglecting either style.   Lyrically, it becomes apparent that the music does not fall into the range of the album’s title: they are a commentary on life’s events, and will throw you a few twists when you think you know where the are going.  Inside Out has repackaged Tiles’ first three discs ­ I have the distinct feeling I’ll be checking them out soon.

Brian A. Smith
8 May 2004


 
 

 

   
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