Tilt is the new project from members of Fish’s band. Bassist Steve Vantsis is the man behind the music for Fish’s last two albums and he is joined in Tilt by Fish drummer David Stewart and also long time guitarist Robin Boult. The band also features guitarist Paul Humphreys and the real secret weapon of all, vocalist PJ Dourley. In addition, It Bites keyboardist John Beck guests on a few tracks PLUS the great John Mitchell contributes a guitar solo AND mixed the album!
The key to any album, as always, is the quality of the songs. Given that Vantsis is an established song writer, it’s no surprise to me how great the music is on this album. But the lyrics and melodies by Dourley are the perfect match for the high quality music. Dourley has an amazing voice with that British tone you hear so often on great prog albums. The man can sing and he writes a great hook that will have you singing along in no time.
The opener “_Assembly” starts a bit electronic which slowly builds nicely until it kicks in. It does remind me of the style that Vantsis wrote for Fish’s album “13th Star.” By comparison, Vantsis uses electronics from time to time but he never gets bogged down or overly fascinated by them like Jem Godfrey does on the last Frost* album. It also helps that there is a lot of variety to the songlist as well. “Hinterland” and “Bloodline” are both mini-epics but never feel as long as they are clocked out as.
“Against the Rain” is a phenomenal, stirring prog ballad. “No Superman” is the sinewy, powerhouse track on the album. “Growing Colder” is so damn catchy that I am singing the chorus as I am typing this review out!! “Disassembly” is the epic closer to the album and while it works as a bookend with the opening track, it’s much more organic and has some really thought provoking lyrics. Another interesting point is that the album feels shorter than it is. It’s so enjoyable that it’s over before you know it!
This is the debut from Tilt but clearly this is a seasoned group of musicians who are incredibly talented. It’s hard to be the “backing” band for a legend such as Fish so I hope that “Hinterland” puts the spotlight on these gentlemen. This album deserves to be heard and enjoyed. For those wondering how to create a modern prog masterpiece on your first outing, this is how it’s done.
1. _Assembly (8:58)
2. Hinterland (8:01)
3. Against the Rain (5:06)
4. No Superman (4:22)
5. Growing Colder (6:19)
6. Strontium Burning (5:05)
7. Bloodline (9:03)
8. Disassembly_ (9:16)
Burning Shed: www.burningshed.com/store/progressive/product/99/7569/