The Wharton Tiers Ensemble
Twilight of the Computer Age
I find it fascinating when an artist’s given name matches the art they make. It’s a rare thing — Phillip Glass is the only other example I can think of in music — but it’s certainly there in Wharton Tiers and this record of orchestral guitar. Tiers builds up fantastically dense compositions layer by layer: bass, drums, saxophone, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar. The intense din of eight guitarists moving in subtle parallels is pretty loud, even at low volumes. The title track, which opens this disc, serves as a good introduction to the power, monster riffs that in this instance culminate in a stop-go finale. Subtler moments lie a bit more within the album, like the interstellar overdrive of “Peaking on Mars” and the late night moodiness of “Iridium Bop.” “Lonesome Space Cowboy” lives up to its name, and the closing “Rakshak” is a wailing surf instrumental. Big noise, big fun.
Atavistic, P.O. Box 578266, Chicago, IL 60657; http://www.atavistic.com