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TILES
 
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
info@tiles-music.com
check out the web page at
www.tiles-music.com
 
 
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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.

 

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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 Nowhere Fast
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
INSIDEOUT Music
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