TILES - Fly Paper

Tiles - Fly Paper

8 songs
49:34 minutes
***** ***


Don’t ask me how I did it, but I somehow overlooked American prog band Tiles even though Fly Paper is already their fifth album in fifteen years. Sure, I heard the name being dropped from time to time, but if you had asked me to tell what they sound like, I would have been at a loss. The opener Hide In My Shadow on their new album is screaming Rush all over the place. The complex guitar sequence at the beginning sounds like the Canadian prog gods in the early Eighties, as if they had decided to add some vocals to Yyz. Producer Terry Brown, who worked already with Rush and Fates Warning in the past, helps some more to create this atmosphere. Too make things even more obvious, you have Alex Lifeson playing some leads on the following Sacred & Mundane, a straighter, more rocking but just as exciting track. Aiming for commercial success on Back & Forth, Tiles have Alannah Myles on board, and apart from her drowning in the production, this rather misguidec attempt at a hit is just past its date as the once popular singer herself. Landscrape shows the band from a heavier side, getting them closer to Dream Theater. Among the last four songs are three longer tracks (Markers; Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds; Hide & Seek) that show the band from its best side. Whenever they take some time to develop structures and emphasise more their progressive than their melodic side, Tiles are among the more refreshing prog rock bands out there.

Other guest artists include former Discipline vocalist Matthew Parmenter who unfortunately only plays some keyboards and sings a few choirs, and Hugh Syme on keyboards, who is better known as a surreal cover artist, and it’s a matter of fact that he delivered exquisite art also this time again.

Experience shows, and even if they are rarely, if at all, original, Tiles have the necessary routine to make even their sub-par material sound better than most of what is sold as prog rock or prog metal these days. Fans of Rush will either really like or rather loathe Tiles’ fifth album Fly Paper.

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