Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In Praise of Porcupine Tree

I've been listening - rather obsessively I must admit - to Porcupine Tree of late. I started following Porcupine Tree in 2007 but didn't become a full blown fan until now.

Porcupine Tree started life as a parody - a Spinal Tap of progressive rock bands if you will - but as is starting to become common in the irony-drenched era we live in (Sarah Palin anyone?), parody gave way to reality and the mythical 70s supergroup became an actual 90s post-progressive outfit.

Early efforts by Porcupine Tree track the evolution of Pink Floyd rather closely but updated for the 90s - think trance rather than psychedelia. It was not until the middle of naughty oughts (00s) that more mature works like In Absentia and Deadwing appeared. In these two records, Porcupine Tree started including elements of metal and grunge - arguably staking a claim to being really progressive (in the sense of the term). Critical and commercial recognition followed firmly establishing the band as a leading progressive outfit. The two more recent releases - Fear of a Blank Planet and The Incident - showcase the diversity of the band (within the narrow rock context). The former is a clever synthesis of trance, soundscapes, psychedelia and hard rock whereas the latter revisits the concept album motif (popular in the 70s) but is more musically straightforward. As we enter a new decade, the band is a leading live act with band founder Steven Wilson (singer, songwriter and guitarist) hailed as a genius.

Recommended songs:

  1. Anesthetize
  2. Arriving somewhere not here
  3. The Creator has a Mastertape
  4. Time flies
  5. Waiting phase one
  6. Heartattack in a Layby
  7. Start of something beautiful
  8. Way out of here
  9. The sleep of no dreaming
  10. .3


  1. Porcupine Tree has to be one of the greatest thing that happened to Music.
    It is one of the most versatile bands I've ever seen[well,ironically,I missed them when they came to Mumbai to perform].

    Album wise speaking, each album has a unique concept and tend to be brilliant.
    Take Deadwing,In Absentia,Lightbulb Sun or The Incident, all are strikingly addictive and these 4 albums themselves can be played in loop and the person still won't get bored!

    Music wise you've got a lot of "variety".
    On one hand,you have a light,rhytmic song called Lightbulb Sun.On the other,you have a pretty hard one called Fear of a Blank Planet.
    Then there's a feel good song named "Rest Will Flow" to a rather anger imbibing song called "Open Car".

    Then ofcourse there is Arriving Somewhere But Not Here which has to go down as their best song,ever!
    12:02 secs of pure brilliance!
    And there's Synthesia/Russia on Ice which are a radically different concept alltogether!

    Also,you've got some weird ass stuff like Linton Samuel Dawson[I bet you hadn't heard this one before].

    One can go on and on about how brilliant the band is,and they are justified in doing so!

    Lastly, I suppose the list should go like this
    1. Arriving Somewhere but Not Here.
    2. Anesthesize
    3. Trains/Blackest Eyes
    4. She's Moved On
    5. Open Car/Shallow
    6. Collapse the Light into Earth
    7. Lazarus [common,~90% people will fall in love with this song]
    8. Lips of Ashes
    9. Radioactive Toy
    10. Time Flies

    Time Flies,although brilliant, won't be appreciated by many at first,especially with that considerably long "solo".


  2. I probably be once more to read way more, thanks for that info.