CD Title: Pretending 2 Run
Label: Lasers Edge Records (2016)
Rating: Satisfying 3/5
We’re a long way from Tiles first release way back in 1994 and those twenty-two years have seen plenty of changes and maturity take place with the band. All of that is on display from the very first notes of the very first track of their newest release Pretending 2 Run. It’s more than simple confidence; there is a self-assured maturity that we hear. We also still hear the Rush influence, certainly in the sound of the guitar and also perhaps as a result of Terry Brown’s production skills. But apart from the guitar this is allTiles. Their arrangements and compositional skills continue to expand the scope of their music. This is a double disc with twenty-one tracks running a full ninety-six minutes. Fans of the British TV show The Prisoner should take note as the lyrical theme of this package certainly hearkens back to that show’s premise. My first clue was seeing the show’s catch-phrase, “be seeing you” in the CD booklet along with one of the members wearing the dark blazer with white pin striping along the garment’s edges. These tunes run the gamut timewise from 1:14 to 11:21. Those sitting through the whole thing will be treated to a number of recurring themes and musical vignettes all going to tie everything together thematically. It’s a huge undertaking but comes off as well done. For my ears there were plenty of highlights most of which revolved around the band’s use of orchestral strings and a wide array of acoustic instruments all of which played nicely against their heavier side. To my mind, interesting music is about contrast and variety and both those objectives are accomplished on Pretending 2 Run. The track “Stonewall” [6:49] is a classic example of this. Add to all of this some engaging melodies along a seemingly never-ending supply of musical change-ups and you have a winning combination. I would like to think that part of the band’s maturity I spoke of earlier is knowing they don’t have to be heavy all the time to convey their message. When the mix is right, like it is here, the softer more delicate parts of the music help contrast the heavier parts and vice-versa. This is a real good record, and with so much musical diversity it’s totally enjoyable from beginning to end.