TILES – Off The Floor (2012)

TILES - Off The Floor (2012) mp3 download


TILES is a prog / hard rock band from Detroit, which has released five studio albums.

Over the years the band has developed a style that blends the adventure of progressive rock with an aggressive hard rock edge. Notable musicians such as Alex Lifeson (Rush), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) have lent their support to Tiles when they opened for them in various gigs.

Something had to be done to commemorate Tiles’ approaching 20th anniversary, so the band recorded “Off The Floor” as a career retrospective.

Recorded live in the studio at Sound Escape in suburban Detroit (where the band members reside), “Off The Floor” is everything the group chose to display, and quite a bit more.

The song selection (which hits all five of their studio albums) showcases the very best that the band has to offer with all the musicians together in the same room.

One of the many high points on “Off The Floor” and clear example of Tiles’ style is the track “Capture The Flag”, which not only takes on but exceeds the original version.

Imagine the first Rush sound with a passion for the hard rock riffs. Indeed this band extends the proceedings over long developed guitar riffs where the melodies change in conjuction with the tempo.

Fan favorites are included here as well, such as a completely re-worked version of “Checkerboards” (from 1997’s ‘Fence The Clear’), “Token Pledge” (taken from 1994’s debut self-titled release), “Modification” (from 1999’s ‘Presents Of Mind’) and the opening track, the standout “Landscrape” from their last album (2008).

Joining the band is special guest Matthew Parmenter (of the band Discipline) who plays violin and sings backing vocals on the sinuous “Changing The Guard”.

For the more atmospheric “The Wading Pool”, Parmenter plays some mellotron, while another guest Keith Kaminski (Motor City Horns) adds flute giving the song a Jethro Tull vibe.

Considered too progressive to be a hard rock band and too hard to be a progressive band, Tiles has opted for the road less traveled.

With a strong early Rush influence, “Off The Floor” sounds as if you were listening to the band live in your living room.

Noted producer Terry Brown (Rush, Fates Warning) renders the recording with a refreshingly natural sound – serving up the audio equivalent of a Van Gogh where everything interacts and blends into an engaging sonic picture.

Released on the band’s own label, Standing Pavement, “Off The Floor” can only be purchased from very limited retailers, but it really worth the hunt.

Where it might be a shame that a band this talented is still unknown to many in the progressive and metal circles, Tiles can hold their heads up high.

01 – Landscrape

02 – Token Pledge

03 – Modification

04 – Capture The Flag

05 – Changing the Guard

06 – Segue / Window Dressing (Part IV)

07 – Dragons, Dreams & Darling Deeds

08 – Dress Rehearsal

09 – Hide in My Shadow

10 – A Minor Interlude

11 – Checkerboards

12 – The Wading Pool

Paul Rarick – lead vocals

Jeff Whittle – bass, keyboards, backing vocals

Chris Herin – guitars, mandolin, keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Evans – drums & percussion

Special Guests:

Matthew Parmenter – mellotron, violin & backing vocals

Keith Kaminski – flute on ‘The Wading Pool’



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