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Porcupine Tree - Staircase Infinities CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.81 | 177 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Anyone who buys the 2005 reissue of 1993's 'Up The Downstair' gets this album as a bonus. Unlike most bonuses, this is a genuine treasure, 30 minutes of space rock deliciousness. Until 2005 it was available on its own, providing perhaps a lesser value.

All five tracks are strong without being outstanding. 'Cloud Zero' opens with a light, almost funky beat, backed by sparkling synths and WILSON's busy guitar glissades. 'The Joke's On You' sounds like the demo for a more recent PORCUPINE TREE song, with its emphasis on acoustic guitar: it could, with some work, have occupied a place on the latter half of any late 90s PT disc along with the slower, more contemplative tracks WILSON tends to leave to the ends of his albums. 'Navigator' is all synths, guitar effects and an odd, jerky beat, an interlude piece. 'Rainy Taxi' is the undoubted highlight of the record and almost worthy of a place on 'Up The Downstair' had one been available. RICK WRIGHT-like keyboards suffuse your speakers, seemingly randomly at first, but building slowly into a magnificent soundscape that reminds you why you love this genre so much. 'Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape' is apparently a live reworking of a track originally from WILSON's first cassette, 'Tarquin's Seaweed Farm', itself a shorter version of the full 20 minutes available on yet another PT issue ... confused yet? A suitable closer, with menacing bass and percussion added to the mix of synths and guitars, but I find myself a little annoyed by the way the beat is sped up near the end.

This is clearly a collection of leftovers. There's no real shape to the record, no special care given to placement of tracks apart from the placement of YHD at the end. It's certainly not essential, but like any unexpected present, very welcome as a bonus.

russellk | 3/5 |


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