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Porcupine Tree - Up The Downstair CD (album) cover

UP THE DOWNSTAIR

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.92 | 704 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
3 stars Up the Downstair is still very much a Steven Wilson solo album, though for the first time Colin Edwin and Richard Barbieri appear (however briefly). They will both go on to be incomparable members of, and contributers to Porcupine Tree. This is a large step up from the previous effort, very much a hasty, low-budget, effort. This one is an exceptionally produced, very polished psychedelic album, with varied, clean riffs. The music gives you the illusion that it is a band jamming, improvising, when it is usually programmed and completely planned. The cosmic, ethereal effects, now legendary with this band, are seen and properly experienced for the first time. The vocal melodies, another signature of Tofu Bush, are firstly crafted here. This seems to be the album where Wilson really found his sound, and decided that this is the vein of music he would make.

The sound quality is quite good, but the quality of the instruments are sub-par at best. There still a very stale, synthetic drum sound: nails on a chalkboard for any drummer! If you've purchased the 2005 remaster with the lordly Gavin Harrison drumming up a storm, than that last is a moot point. The atmosphere is still strong, however, and the imagery produced by the album is capturing. Unfortunately, the largest problem with this album, is that there isn't quite as much diversity, and it's not quite as dynamic as is key in other Porc Tree albums. This causes it become a tad repetitive at times. But, still, it is much more coherent and much more solid than the decent debut.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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