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Tiles - Pretending 2 Run Award winner

Pretending 2 Run
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 20 August 2016, 1:30 PM

To release a double studio album is a something that really demands great efforts and courage. Since LED ZEPPELIN did it on "Physical Graffitti", some bands on Rock and Metal tried to do the same thing, but it's truly difficult to keep a high musical level on a double album, even more on CD era, where albums could reach easily 80 times each disc. To some, it could be a boring martyrdom. But some bands still try to do such thing, and the North American quartet TILES did a fine job on their latest album, a double studio CD, called "Pretending 2 Run".

They are a Progressive Rock band, earning the load of musical influences as YES, JETHRO TULL (Ian Anderson plays his flute as guest on this album, on "Midwinter"), GENESIS, KING CRIMSON, ELP and many other names. But there's a great difference from the quartet from the names listed above: they use some Hard Rock influences on their music, so along the abstract musical part, there's some weight due to the distorted guitar parts. And of course the technical level is high on their songs, but not to the point to make us fall asleep.

The sound quality is what we could expect from a Progressive Rock band: clean, with all the musical instruments listenable to our ears, and each musical arrangement can be comprehended at its fullest. It's a fine job from Terry Brown (the album's producer, and the one who mixed it), and Peter J. Moore (who did the mastering).

The album clocks in at over 96 minutes, has a very long list of special guests (Mike Portnoy is one of them, playing drums on "Stonewall" and "Fait Accompli"), but is a very good album, indeed.

We can point as their best songs, on disk 1: the heavy and intense riffs on "Shelter in Place" (a short song, but showing a high skilled technique, and even some Middle East musical touches), the technique on drums and good vocal work found on "Stonewall" (well, Mike is playing the drums, so there's no surprise it would the best point of the song, along with some clean moments and the guitar solos), the Progressive Rock song called "Voir Dire" (filled with excellent keyboards and synthesizers parts), the heavy introspection presented by tender vocals on "Drops of Rain", the multi-faced song shown on "Take by Surprise" (that really surprises us all with all the harmonic structures and tempo changes, with a very good work from drums and percussion, along with a technical playing on bass guitar. But be prepared, because this song is a riddle for many), and the tender "Small Fire Burning" (that can make you think about YES experimentalism, done in an elegant form, with very good backing vocals).

On disc 2, the fine and tender flute arrangement on "Midwinter" (Ian Anderson's still a master after all these years), along with excellent violin, cello and viola parts; the hooking melodic atmosphere that permeates "Weightless" (created by very good keyboards parts, with excellent drumming and bass incursions), the guitar arrangements and YES-like choirs on "Friend or Foe" (the weight you can hear on some parts is due the guitar riffs), the Progressive introspection shown on "Battle Weary", the combination between Progressive Rock melodies and heavy guitars presented on "The Disappearing Floor" (the very essence of what we call Progressive Metal can be heard here, due a strong work on bass guitar and drums, and excellent vocals' harmonies), the great harmonies created by viola, cello and violins arrangements on "Fait Accompli" (it's a melodic and grandiose song, where you can be drown by the melodies easily), and the melodic and tender violin melodies on the excellent "Backsliding".

These guys really deserve to be widely known, for "Pretending 2 Run" is excellent.

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Disc 1
1. Pretending to Run
2. Shelter in Place
3. Stonewall
4. Voir Dire
5. Drops of Rain
6. Taken by Surprise
7. Refugium
8. Small Fire Burning

Disc 2
1. Midwinter
2. Weightless
3. Friend or Foe
4. Battle Weary
5. Meditatio
6. Other Arrangements
7. The Disappearing Floor
8. Fait Accompli
9. Pretending to Run (Reprise 1)
10. Uneasy Truce
11. Pretending to Run (Reprise 2)
12. The View from Here
13. Backsliding
Paul Rarick – Vocals / Backing Vocals
Chris Herin – Guitars / Keyboards / Trumpet / Backing Vocals
Jeff Whittle – Bass / Keyboards / Backing Vocals
Mark Evans – Drums / Percussion
Record Label: The Laser's Edge


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