It was never going to be easy. After making their name in the mid-'90s playing punk rock toilets the length and breadth of Europe ...
It was never going to be easy. After making their name in the mid-’90s playing punk rock toilets the length and breadth of Europe for a free vegan lasagne and a fanzine, [a]Bob Tilton[/a] suddenly found themselves darlings of the Camden indie scene. It was a title none of the band had planned on earning, such was their dedication to the none-more-DIY hardcore scene. Lesser souls would have taken the chance of new-found indie stardom to make it big, but not the Tiltons. Why play third on the bill to Placebo when you can play a #3 punk rock all-dayer in Bradford with Vorhees, Dead Wrong and Kito?
And why make an album of three-minute singalong crowd-pleasers when you can writhe and grimace your own way through jerky, 15-part odes to guilt, regret and broken hearts? Answer: Because they WANTED to. ‘Crescent’ – now out on CD for the first time – was their debut album and finds the Tiltons pushing back the boundaries of arty post-rock emocore (call it what you like) more than anyone since Shudder To Think‘s ‘difficult’ ‘Pony Express Record’.
Self-produced at the band’s own studio, ‘Crescent’ rocks, lulls and noodles too much for its own good, but contained within the angst-ridden poetry and furious guitar noise are moments of real, honest, beauty. Like if Shellac had Keats for a frontman, but not quite.
For all its righteous anger, ‘Crescent’ never captures the jaw-dropping intensity of the Tiltons’ ragged live shows, but, three years after its release, it still stands as a worthy testimony to their dogged pursual of all things difficult. True till death.