(All Album Reviews by gsk42)
Scott Bedard: guitar, vocals
Sean Blair: bass, backing vocals
Stephen Glowacki: drums, backing vocals
Steve O’Donnell: keyboards
There seems to be a fine dividing line between what some of us might define as “progressive” from AOR. Confusion only grows when we add symphonic metal to the mix. Such as it is with Time And Tide, a potentially promising new quartet, I hear vestiges of all three at work, usually within the same song. No doubt, the band appears to be covering familiar and well-trodden ground – everything from the likes of Rush and Rainbow to Dream Theater and Triumph appear to be influences here.
From the outset, there is no doubt this is a guitar-driven, vocal-centered band, as the opener “Wasteland” is paced briskly by Scott Bedard’s often frenetic leads, not to mention his energetic singing, which are occasionally – but too briefly – offset by slower sections of contrast and repose. Steve O’Donnell’s embellishments of keyboard textures are welcome, if not relieving, compliments to an otherwise aggressive and derivative delivery here (and elsewhere), and are certainly the band’s greatest asset throughout this entire hour-plus set. Nowhere is this more evident than on the following, shorter songs, where the ubiquitous vocals and general clutter of guitar licks galore pleads for more tonal diversity and attention to dynamic subtlety.
But for the closing half-hour epic, “Pilot”, this might have been another one of those efforts that passes through the auditory membranes without much ado. Thankfully, the band’s many former shortcomings are eschewed in favor of a greater attention to compositional detail and more discernable contributions from the full band. The vocal clutter is thereby lessened in various loud or soft sections of deft keyboards and some nice guitar fills, which are generally unpredictable and not nearly as formulaic as that which comprised the bulk of The Water’s Edge from the opening first few notes. Though not necessarily a piece of great scope, it does have merit, even if it appears its substance was overstretched by about ten minutes.
This type of music – progressive rock, if we might agree – does have an audience, one which prefers a “power rock” approach and requires a bit of punch in their music. It will wear thin, very quickly, with those who demand complex time-signatures and metrical shifts, or to those who will invariably feel they have heard this somewhere before. Time And Tide most reminds me of Magna Carta’s troika of Shadow Gallery, Magellan and Enchant, who each evince an ability to take common rock-n-roll forms and build them into something slightly more grandiose and challenging. I tend to believe that for those who find enjoyment in those bands, a listen or two to here will definitely please.
I’m torn and am of two minds here: One is that they do have the requisite chops to play challenging music; and the other is that I have heard this style of rock so many times before, often-times (but not always) done to better overall results. It follows, then, that it might appear this brand of music is not my bag per se. Not true. I think, in time, these four gentlemen could offer up something praiseworthy within this rockier style (of 'prog'?). A sense of inspiration is the key. I felt it only in snippets here, I hesitate to say.