[Review] Titled Axes – Music For Mobile Guitars

Whether it’s through J Mascis, the sheer existence of FYF or a highly unique project such as Tilted Axes, the persistence of guitar rock is (seemingly) always going to endure. In his storied career, Patrick Grant has gone under the radar more than any few other musicians despite his contributions to “keep guitars weird” and his ongoing geographical project Music For Mobile Electric Guitars is both highly ambitious and overall and strangely satisfying.

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The process of the record, which entailed contacting musicians several locations and coordinating guitarists in said towns to record with Grant is unique enough in itself. What’s perhaps even more unique is that the collective Titled Axes have strung together a Stravinsky-esque song cycle that sounds thoroughly East Coast and decidedly calculated. It shouldn’t be that this model of music making is bound to fail, rather it just seems insurmountably difficult to bring versatility to 17 tracks falling over 3:50.

Among the most fun is “Kneadle Varation,” which for us Fripp and Zappa louses sounds extraordinarily similar to the best of both respective artist’s later output. “Alamo Tilt” is also a fun and unexpected foray into a Ennio-Morricone post mushrooms kick sound. Tilted Axes can’t possibly cover every base with Music For Mobile Guitars – and no one ought to expect that of them. They still provide a comprehensive sound for what is essentially a post-rock cultural OST. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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