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Porcupine Tree - Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape CD (album) cover

YELLOW HEDGEROW DREAMSCAPE

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

2.49 | 88 ratings

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PinkPangolin
3 stars Having finally managed to get a hold of this, I realise that Steven Wilson (SW) was absolutely right in taking these tracks off to make On the Sunday of Life... On the Sunday to me is a superb re-birth of psychedelia and Space Rock - and I love the story behind it all (the make-believe band and all that) - although I think you get into PT first with some of their other later albums, get to know the music and the story and go back to it please see my review on On the Sunday..)

Apparently the original intention was to release the two early cassettes, but SW had other ideas - if he hadn't taken these off, then I'm sure that On the Sunday.. would not have been the masterpiece that it is.

I mean, it's only natural, all other bands don't release the stuff they don't think is any good, so that they can come up with a really good album final product.

A lot of the music on YHD is simply Steve Wilson messing about, often sounding like a kid wondering what stupid noises he can make with his guitar. The tracks - Landscare, Daughters in Excess, Prayer, Delightful Suicide, Split Image and Wastecoat - are all in this vein - and are only worth listening to the once for the fun of it and for interest only. I mean SW is just experimenting

With the other tracks, the sound quality simply isn't as good as On the Sunday (I guess this is to do with working hard on re-mastering the stuff on on the Sunday). Also, the synthetic drumming (the charm of On the Sunday..) seems to worked less well on these - it seems a little out in places (which is NOT the case on the on the Sunday.. tracks). Also, it's nearly all instrumentals - so no more peculiar vocals (another charm of On the Sunday..) and no more superb spaced out lyrics from Alan Duffy.

On the other hand, there are some really good tracks, especially Mute, which is a superb freak-out opener, with great guitar and mellotron work. I think this is the only track that could be argued that should have been on On the Sunday of Life..

No Reason to Live... has lush extended solo lead guitar playing - something that SW should never leave behind. It does on a little, and with It will rain for a million years on On the Sunday it didn't really need another track so like it.

Hokey Cokey is OK, with some sense of humour in doing the Hokey Kokey

Track 11 is the only other track in existence that's like Linton Samuel Dawson and Jupiter Island, and is good, but definitely a poorer cousin of those two awesome psychedelic pieces.

SW was definitely right to re-record Radioactive Toy for On the Sunday.., as the original demo version here is very poor sound quality and not so good. It's still very interesting and worth of a listen as it truly is such a great track.

An Empty Box has a really funny moment at the beginning, and is an interesting track - though I think this didn't come from Tarquin or The Nostalgia Factory - not sure where it came from.

The Cross and the title track are both really good, with some great extended soloing - these are worth the acquistion in themselves. At last there's some nice vocals on The Cross, and the build-up of YHD telling you to relax and announcing the imaginary members of the band is real fun. (I still like the YHD version on Staircase Infinities better). Actually, throughout the album you can hear a few moments that SW used on Staircase Infinities.

Finally, Music for the Head -There is god, but not anything like as spacey as Music for the HEad - here.

SW was right.

Overall, its a good interesting listen, but it's not essential - and don't spend hundreds of pound trying to get it. If you absolutely love On the Sunday of Life... and desperatley want more (which is exactly what happened to me), then by all means go for it -just don't expect it to be so good that's all

It's worth getting for Mute even if the rest of it isn't so worth it...

PinkPangolin | 3/5 |

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