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Porcupine Tree - Up The Downstair CD (album) cover

UP THE DOWNSTAIR

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.92 | 738 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Psychadellia at it's absolute best!

Following 1991's debut album/compilation "On the Sunday Of Life" Steven Wilson decides on which road his then solo project would take. The result is a mostly instumental, mostly long song format freakout. While the album mixes short intro-outro tracks as did it's predicessor the real difference here is the strucure as a complete album, and the compitence of the tracks. The two biggest standouts here are the title track, UP THE DOWNSTAIR, which has some brilliant guitar work, mixing spaceoutedness with format to give a song a catch that still feels true to prog, and the other long-track, BURNING SKY. The latter mentioned track does the same kind of thing as the former, but in a more aggressive, storm forming kind of way.

Of course, no PT album would be complete without Wilson singing a few lines, and he does. Among the tracks given vocals, the opener SYNESTHIA, which is very genuinely psychadellia, the haunting, yet somehow upbeat ALWAYS NEVER, the intro-outro SMALL FISH and the closer FADEAWAY. Each of the vocal tracks has it's charm, but each is easily overlooked in the grander scheme of things when waiting for the longer bits. Also to note, thrown into the mix is the quick and heavy instumental NOT BEAUTIFUL ANYMORE, which acts more as an outro to UP THE DOWNSTAIR, but is still a very well done track none the less.

Throw in a couple 30-second tracks and you've got the album. A very strong offering. If you're fortunate enough to have the remaster edition, you also get the experimentaly interesting EP "Saircase Infinities", which features some outtakes for the album, which is a nice bonus, but not at all better than the album itself. But for all you collectors out there I hear the EP itself is very hard to find, so if you want to listen to it, this is likely the only way.

Anyways, to conclude: This is a great album from a great band in it's early stages of life. If you're more into the "Deadwing" or "Fear of a Blank Planet" Porcupine Tree this may not become your favorite album, but as goes general prog, this is definately a highlight. 4 stars.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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