- The short official bio
- The first incarnation of TILES formed several years ago
as STANDING PAVEMENT. Using a friend to record vocals, the band released
a self-produced and financed cassette entitled Crowded Emptiness. The search for
a permanent vocalist led to an enjoyable but short-lived experiment with a blues/rock
singer and culminated in a six song demo tape of new material. Known as HANOVER
FIST, the band's music took on a much more aggressive edge, unfortunately at the
expense of the progressive sound the band preferred. With the long overdue discovery of
vocalist Paul Rarick, the band changed their name to TILES and began
recording their debut album. Although a little more expensive and time consuming than
planned, the band is very proud of the results. The music has evolved into a perfect blend
of STANDING PAVEMENT's progressive rock style and HANOVER FIST's
aggressive hard rock edge.
- They released their debut CD in June 1994. Simply entitled tiles,
the disc features songs which blend progressive rock overtones with an aggressive hard
rock edge. Mixed with lyrics of an "observational" nature, TILES
continues to cultivate a sound which demands more than just passive listening. TILES
reached the international music scene in the summer of 1995 when Polydor released tiles
throughout Europe on the DREAM CIRCLE Records label. On the opposite side of the world,
TEICHIKU Records developed new artwork designs and released the disc throughout Japan.
- TILES released their second CD, Fence the
Clear, in early 1997 throughout the Michigan/Northern Ohio region; and
overseas in Europe and Japan late in the Fall of 1997. The disc was well-received by fans
and reviews were positive.
- In 1999 TILES released their third album, Presents
of Mind, with noted producer/engineer Terry Brown (known for his work with RUSH,
FATES WARNING). This album finds the band maintaining the heavier edge of last
year's release but expanding the arrangements to include banjo, lush vocal harmonies, more
keyboards, and a host of folk-type acoustic instruments. Fans can expect new musical
twists and turns ranging from the odd-meters of Modification to the lengthy
improvisational jams on Safe Procedures and Static; while the lyrics
focus on how the mind develops a system of logic and reason to cope with the challenges of
the world in which we live. It runs approximately 50 minutes and features a few special
guests: Matthew Parmenter (from the band DISCIPLINE) on violin, Sonya
Mastick on percussion, and Kevin Chown again lends his bass skills to one song.
- Information regarding TILES' performance schedule,
merchandise, compact discs, and cassettes is available from:
- STANDING PAVEMENT Ent., P.O. Box 75, Trenton, MI 48183, USA
- e-mail at
- check out the web page at
- Fence the Clear
- ( ©INSIDEOUT Music '97 )
- Patterns / Beneath the Surface / Cactus Valley /
Another's hand / The Wading Pool / Gameshow / Fallen Pieces / Changing the Guard / Gabby's
Happy Song / Checkerboards
- The band's second album opens Patterns with this
real nice flowing jazz phrase quickly changing into hard-driven rock. It is immediately
evident the production is on a very high level - the work of Chris Andrews and Kevin Chown
assisted by the band (who else!). Superb bass lines of Jeff Whittle over energetic
drumming of Mark Evans, all elegantly fused with gracious guitars of Chris Herin and
beautiful vocals of Paul Rarick. Beneath the Surface is exactly
this! The next one is Cactus Valley, a blend of soft and moderate progressive
rock that turns quite dramatic at chorus. Another's Hand starts furiously and it
seems the band can easily turn into high gear. Also, notice the fine drum-work on this
one. Mark is a real drummer and is in full control of his hands. You must check out the
instrumental bridge in this song when Chris shows his gentle side and Jeff is just walking
all over the place. Then follow some abrupt changes of tempo and soon the band is in high
gear again. The Wading Pool is a long but beautiful ballad where Paul sings his
soul out and Chris displays his talent. The potential hit-single type of song is Gameshow
with unmistakable chorus and catchy rhythm. The most beautiful surprise is Changing
the Guard where Chris adds an impressive instrument, mandolin. This makes the song,
which is already half-ballad, really exceptional. If choosing the highlight on this album,
it would have to be this one!
- The album closes with Checkerboards where Chris
again uses mandolin but this one is not of the ballad type. It clocks in at almost 15
minutes and is a brilliant combination of odd rhythm verse and melodic, acoustic chorus.
The guys display their high-skilled craftsmanship and God-given talent. Approximately 5
minutes into the song, the band is in full operational mode which is high-quality
progressive rock with all the necessities: unison of guitar and bass, odd drum patterns,
beats and breaks, many mood changes, numerous rhythmic changes, melodic outbursts...Well,
I could go on like this forever but for more details you must hear this album, that is, if
you are a real progressive music listener and/or fan.
- Presents of Mind
- ( ©INSIDEOUT Music '99 )
- Static / Modification / Crossing Swords / Facing
Failure / The Learning Curve / Ballad of the Sacred Cows / The Sandtrap Jig / Taking
Control / Safe Procedures / Reasonable Doubt
- One of the five best albums of 1999! No doubt about it.
- Until now I haven't heard a band that got this close to perfection. At first, I was very
curious how the new drummer will fit in. Rest assured, Pat DeLeon is the most appropriate
replacement for Mark. Pat has got his own style, his own sound and surely knows his
sticks! Static is the opener and it is just perfect. Classic TILES
sound with even more depth and a real live feel to drums; the high-quality, top-notch
production is again in the hands of the band and Chris Andrews, counselled by Kevin
Chown. The band has also taken the vocal arrangements to a whole new dimension. The
backing vocals are the real thing that makes this album so perfect. I really couldn't
believe my ears when I first heard Static and the chorus:
- Static is Our Legacy/Taught from Birth what We Believe/Our Minds Create Another
Boundary/Watching the Moments Pass/Our Purpose Cannot Last/Trapped in a Re-run Going
- In my humble opinion, Paul Rarick is beside Ted Leonard (from ENCHANT)
one of the most gifted vocalists on today's progressive scene with really impressive array
of vocal abilities spanning from soul-felt ballads to this really remarkable softness of
his entire voice spectrum. Hats off!
- Modification is a nasty piece of heavy progressive rock with odd drum pattern
and groovy guitar licks. Here I must point out Pat's excellent drum-work. The man is, like
former drummer Mark, in full control of his hands and is capable of delivering some really
nifty hand-work, be that on snare drum or the rides.
- A short instrumental interlude, Crossing Swords, explodes into Facing
Failure which has to be the most energetic, the most powerful and the song with the
most beautiful chorus on the entire album. This song captures the true essence of TILES:
highly explosive progressive rock with perfect melodies and chorus. It is so in your face,
you can almost touch the sincerity and soul of the band. TILES stands
side by side with ENCHANT as the best band in progressive rock scene of
the nineties. Others simply cannot touch them!
- The Learning Curve is a semi-acoustic, semi-ballad type of song. It is in songs
like this one that it comes perfectly clear Chris Herin is the one responsible for a large
number of goodies. Chris' use of gentle keyboards in the bridge show his enormous
knowledge of musical instruments other than his six-string.
- Ballad of the Sacred Cows, a funny title won't you agree? But, there is nothing
funny in this killer of a song. It is pure instrumental progressive rock madness bordering
on metal. I remember the good old days when we used to get loose in DREAM THEATER's
musical escapades on their legendary When Dream and Day Unite.
Well, TILES offers even more than that! It is all in here, all in one 7
minutes-long song. Numerous tempo changes, speedy guitar chops, licks and heavy riffs,
jazzy bass lines, drums are everywhere, of course. All in perfect harmony, in unison. Like
Homer Simpson™, says: Rock stars, is there anything they can't do?
- Another short instrumental interlude, The Sandtrap Jig, flows into Taking
Control which is one more perfect song on the album. It starts with this really
rocking beat but the band soon stops for a dramatic passage where Chris uses banjo to
underline the melodic harmony of gentle keyboards and Paul's beautiful voice in yet
another perfect chorus. In the bridge Chris uses both banjo and mandolin, and Jeff
is backing him up with bass line. The effect is overwhelming. You gotta hear this!
- Safe Procedures is yet another example of fine up-tempo hard rocker with Pat
handling many intricate rhythmic changes. The album closes with 12 minutes long Reasonable
Doubt where Kevin Chown takes the bass role. A special guest is Matthew Parmenter
with his beautiful violin work. I can see where this is leading and I hope TILES
will use more strings in the near future. They just fit in perfectly! Once more, one of
the five albums of the year 1999. A must, a necessary buy, highly recommended.
- Enter the new millennium with Presents of the Mind