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Porcupine Tree - Up The Downstair CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.89 | 905 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3 1/3 stars

The first serious Porcupine Tree album, and while better music was to be written in their music, the songs in Up The Downstairs are generally solid, have good production, and tend to be quite well arranged and constructed. This is mainly a space rock/psychedelic album with some good hooks and melodies to keep it somewhat accessible and hold interest until multiple listens makes the album enjoyable. The album is short and mostly instrumental. When Steven Wilson sings, his voice is not as strong and confident as later in his musical career.

There are 10 tracks, but only seven are songs. These short tracks are used for coherence reasons between songs. The first one is an introduction to the psychedelic pop of Synesthesia. the second short track is an avant garde piece that leads to Always Never, an very good which mixes dreamy atmospheres with hard rock guitars at the beginning, then turns into a sort of Pink Floydian soundscape (very similar to the typical Porcupine Tree soundscape) that builds up into a superb guitar solo. The title track (instrumental) following it begins with a groovy bass line that alternates with a moderately heavy guitar riff, and ends with another riff. My problem with it is that three riffs don't make a ten minute long song, though the music is captivating enough to keep my interest most of the time.

Another instrumental "Not Beautiful Anymore" follows it, with a female voice and multi-layered guitar playing. "Small Fish" is a very short tune with acoustic guitars and nice vocal harmonies, and also features a simple and effective guitar solo. That song segues into another long instrumental which showcases Steven Wilson's compositional and guitar talents. Overall, a fun song with some great riffs and solos. The album ends with a decent depressing slow ballad, better than other album closers of Porcupine Tree, but still a bit dull sometimes.

1. What you are listening to.... () 2. Synesthesia (C) 3. Monuments burn into moments () 4. Always never (B-) 5. Up the downstair (B-) 6. Not beautiful anymore (C+) 7. Siren () 8. Small Fish (B) 9. Burning sky (B+) 10. Fadeaway (C)

Recommended to Porcupine Tree fans and people who can't get into porcupine tree's more commercial albums with prominent vocals.

Zitro | 3/5 |


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