Usually, the first artists that comes to mind when I hear “experimental” are Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, King Crimson and David Bowie. Experimental isn’t all that much of a rarity, though I can’t help but have an inkling that there are more bands that I need to be aware of and give them a good scrutiny. Luckily, New Yorkers Tilted Axe are the newest experimental prog group to be added into my iTunes library with their recently releases full-length Music for Mobile Electric Guitars.
The haunting guitar sounds of suspense drift as “Shapes 1″ vibrate before the main procedures head underway with “Tilted Axes Theme” and “Pedal Swells,” where the idiosyncratic diversity takes place with a collection of odd time signatures, jazz and prog-inspired riffs and licks, followed by some funky jams on the guitar and a few eerie notes that spread themselves throughout the tracks. “Rivera Court” comes as a blend of indie, alternative and psychedelic rock while being accompanied by some clean, but also sharp tones on guitar and builds up to a slightly more abrasive personality as the song continues to move forward.
“Techno Tilt” proceeds with a chaotically driven and noisy introduction that follows through with a very abrasive nature in the spotlight of a King Crimson-like routine. Speaking of King Crimson, two tracks on Music for Mobile Electric Guitars are variations on material by King Crimson’s mainman Robert Fripp, and it’s something that definitely threads through the songs. Tilted Axes often switches between odd and regular time signatures which multiply into more with tumultuous rhythmic scales involved.
“Alamo Tilt” lingers with a discreet, yet chilling rock number that shifts into post-progressive rock in its approx. seven-minute length, while “Polymetric Patterns” comes with a dangerous personality on the bass that helps orchestrate more potency in being one of the “heaviest” pieces of the record.
The production and the execution of the instruments and the album’s mixing is all very rich together. Tilted Axes manage to avoid the unnoticeable frequencies of making each song sound identical. In fact, it’s one of the few points that makes this group special. This band embraces the concept of expanding their minds by allowing all of their influences take advantage of them in order to create something more than unique.
Riddle me this – why do the good bands have the least exposure? I can’t help but feel that this needs to be up in my 2016 list in the top ten. Either way, I have to give it to Tilted Axes for all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into making this great body of work.