Tides Of Man


Written by: TL on 21/10/2010 20:13:50

Another band I've been sort of liking but not quite loving since getting to know them, is Tides Of Man, who won me over with an endearing sound on their début "Empire Theory" yet didn't quite close the deal, as their songs often wandered to far into experimentation. That's right, experimentation! Don't be fooled by the fact that these Florida five are on Rise Records! Apart from similarities in the vocal department, ToM have little in common with your average post-breakdown-scene-core.

Instead, I'd say it's accurate, on new album "Dreamhouse" as well as on "Empire Theory", to classify ToM as a very modern take on the genres of progressive and experimental rock. Their songs are highly dramatic, consistently intricate and jam-packed with rhythm changes and challenging guitar licks, coming together in a strange but epic soundscape that is not at all unlike that of Coheed And Cambria. Hell, frontman Tilian Pearson even sounds as much like Claudio Sanchez as it is likely possible without actually being Claudio Sanchez, with the glaring exception being that Pearson occasionally stretches his voice into a scratched croon, much in the veins of those Circa Survive fans adore Anthony Green for.

This kind of ruggedness stands out much less here on "Dreamhouse" however, as opposed to on "Empire Theory", not only in the vocal department, but also when listening to the guitars that, despite delivering plenty of jaggedly distorted riffage, seem to have production focused more on the blistering scales this time around. In fact, I have this thought about how you can draw parallel to the albums' covers. On "Empire Theory", the cover was half sky and half earth, and hence the sound was half quaking riffs and half soaring melodies. Having lifted off entirely into the sky on the airship that adorns "Dreamhouse"'s cover, it now feels like the same rugged part of the sound is located further in the distance, and that you as a listener is slightly disconnected from it.

This production choice strengthens only the notion I got from the first LP, namely that though ToM will occasionally supply the listener with catchy little vocal melodies - see the starts of "Not My Love 2" and "Dreamhouse", as well as the ending of album highlight "A Faint Illusion" - for you to thoroughly enjoy their records, you've got to get into the audacious technical nature of it. In that aspect, ToM are holding on to their identity as a rather proggy band, making themselves relevant by bringing the genre a delightfully modern touch, yet while that's all well and good, I still feel like they could fit things together in a more engaging way, without having to compromise much, if at all. There are moments in the songs I'm recommending that backs this claim, but while the future will have to tell if ToM will develop in my desired direction, it isn't like they haven't produced an interesting listen, with lots of potential for growing with each spin, in "Dreamhouse". Two in a row with this grade then:

Download: Not My Love 2, A Faint Illusion, Chemical Fires
For The Fans Of: Coheed & Cambria, 3, Children Of Nova
Listen: myspace.com/tidesofman

Release Date 14.09.2010
Rise Records

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