On Tilted Axes‘ Music For Mobile Electric Guitars there’s an immediately sprawling feel to opener “Shapes 1” mixing parts U2 and Rush. The track offers a bright and really incredible open sound that soars from top to bottom. On “Circulation In G Maybe” the band plays with a floating round of notes that create a mysterious mood, even if they aren’t going anywhere.
There’s a range of emotion and dynamics in the epic “Tilted Axes Theme” with some of the biggest variation on the record and so much drive it’s clear why it’s the band’s theme. The pulsing “Pedal Swell” is a cool experiment in fluctuation but ultimately feels like a drawn out drone by the end. A better experiment is “Theme Variation” which plays with the band’s theme and throws in enough twists to keep it from sounding like a poor substitute.
“Rivera Court” moves into exotic territory, with Phrygian toned guitars, on a slow-plodding rhythmically driven song that goes from interesting to intense with the blink of an eye. The band goes metal-Devo on “Techno Tilt” making a frantic, new wave inspired track that perfectly walks the line between prog and metal. “Kneadle Variation” pushes this sound in a more experimental path creating a track that’s intriguing but ultimately a lot less accessible.
“Asciae Obliquiae (Anthem)” is another amazingly varied and dynamically written song like the band’s theme. There’s an undeniable catchy and classic sound to the riffs the band goes through and by the end it feels like the track could score anything. The intricate drums set the tone for “Alamo Tilt” and its relentless guitar work, with guitars flailing and a solo virtually every couple bars, while still driving intense emotion.
There’s a quirky funk to “Polymetric Patterns” as it feels both grooving yet meticulously preset. The unflinching guitar lines instead allow the rhythm section, especially the drums, the rare chance to create the sense of variation in the song. Riffs take the wheel on “Beaubien Blues” as the cock-rock refrain trades punches with the prog-driven verse solos, most interestingly even a bass and flute combo solo. “Corridor 84 + Krimson Coda” is the standout track on the album pulling every trick and last ounce of energy from the band’s writing and technical ability, one can only imagine what this band could do with a singer.
There’s a very open feel to the returning rush of instruments on “Shapes 2” with a much less dense sound than its predecessor. A powerful Celtic spirit drives “Tuanna Claonta” mixing in a modern sense of intensity. After a final ambient note break on “Harmonic Revolutions” the album closes on the non-stop ride of “The Sound of Burning Chairs” letting out every final ounce of energy left in the project.
Despite the complexity of the project, Music For Mobile Electric Guitars keeps the quality and variation high, giving a lot of original tracks time after time. Through a whopping 17 songs the album rarely lulls, and considering the wealth of projects behind him, it’s a wonder mastermind Patrick Grant isn’t already a household name.