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Porcupine Tree - Staircase Infinities CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.83 | 204 ratings

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The Progmatist
4 stars An amazing achievement in Wilson's then-young career. This is Wilson in one of his most inspired phases. Just listen to the opener, Cloud Zero, and lose yourself in the hypnotically soft sound of an almost jazz-like guitar backed by synth and scratchy guitar layers. Sure, it's a drum machine, but if you ask me, I'd say it adds to the charm. With no human attempts at percussive cuteness, it's all about the melody.

Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape lives up to its name: the song takes its time to develop a moody synth- heavy soundscape before allowing Steven the space to enter with his echoing guitar solo, which is polished and emotional all at once. A trip from start to finish. Navigator is similarly composed, laying down what sounds like an organ under water to provide the soft ground needed for the piercing electric guitar.

The Joke's on You, though, is probably the highlight here. Featuring a subdued Wilson on the vocals, the song's reliance on acoustic guitar and structured choruses acts to provide a graceful reprieve from the other more improvisational explorations. Only a genius like Steven Wilson can compose and play a song that sounds like it features a full band.

There may be nothing technically brilliant about this EP, but I'd argue that this is actually one of its strengths. Porcupine Tree has always prided itself on creating complex yet accessible melodies, and fans can hear this in its rawest form on STAIRCASE INFINITIES. In these songs we hear a Steven Wilson at a truly inspired time in his musical life, creating soundscapes that must have moved and surprised him when he delicately put all the pieces together.

The Progmatist | 4/5 |


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