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Porcupine Tree - The Nostalgia Factory CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree

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2 stars The Nostalgia Factory, subtitled "...and other tips for amateur golfers", is the second album released under the name Porcupine Tree but is the third and last cassette release from them. As with Tarquin's Seaweed Farm the album was only given to a few people but was later released by Delerium in 1991 to a limited 300 copies.

Tracks from this and together with the album Tarquin's Seaweed Farm went into the album On The Sunday Of Life... which is considered to be Porcupine Tree's first true studio album.

The tracks:

1) Hymn - This track on this album acts as the instrumental/soundscape intro to the album rather than an interlude on the release on the album On The Sunday Of Life...

2) Footprints - This is the first track with lyrics and psychedelic lyrics in teh chorus at that.

3) Linton Samuel Dawson - One of the more well known early releases and as with all the songs recorded on cassette the quality is poor and i can only really enjoy them on the album On The Sunday Of Life...

4) And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun - This is a catchy track with the use of sampling with a crazy line at the end but again i feel it is spoiled by the quality of sound.

5) Queen Quotes Crowley - This version along with the one released on Love, Death & Mussolini includes the soundscape intro before the lyrics which is not included on the version that would later make it onto On The Sunday Of Life...

6) No Luck With Rabbits - The version of this track is different compared to the one that came out before on LD&M but is the same version that would come out on OTSOL

7) Begonia Seduction Scene - I find this track so relaxing that i even forget about it if im describing the music on teh album. I can only describe it as a track with latin style guitar with ambient/soundscape music.

8) Colours Dance Angels Kiss - This track would later be released on the compilation album Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape and renamed Track 11.

9) Prayer - I can only begin with the very noticeable poor sound quality which ruins this whole track for me on this album but for me this is another interlude track.

10) The Nostalgia Factory - The self titled track is one of my favourite early tracks from this era of Porcupine Tree but this is an earlier version than the one on OTSOL which I prefer. It is the longest track on the album so far at 8.17 and is the last track on Side A of the cassette.

11) This Long Silence - This is the first track of Side B and this version is about a minute longer than the one that would be released on OTSOL.

12) Sinatra Rape Scene - An edit of this track would later be used as Monuments Burn Into Moments on the album Up The Downstair.

13) Hokey Cokey - This track would later be released on the compilation album Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape and renamed Execution Of The Will Of The Marquis De Sade. As the title says this song includes the lyrics of Hokey Cokey which drop off to continue the music to come back at the end of the track.

14) Landscare - This is a track that would only come out on the compilation album YHD and would not make the album OTSOL. The track is more of a soundscape rather than a song.

15) Delightful Suicide - Again this is a track that would appear on the compilation YHD but not on the album OTSOL. This track has a very Eastern feel with added ambience.

16) Nine Cats - This track like Linton Samuel Dawson is one of the more well known tracks and the lyrics like most of the songs from this era came from Steven Wilson's friend Alan Duffy. This track would later appear on the Signify album as an acoustic version.

17) Split Image - Again this track for me is another interlude and is basically an ambient/soundscape with the odd note from an instrument and would appear on YHD.

18) It Will Rain For A Million Years - There are 2 different songs that share this title. This version is the 10 minute one that would appear on the album OTSOL and not the version that is on LD&M. Sometimes i can't help but think that he must have come up with this track while living in England :)

Overall i feel that this album is only for collectors and hardcore fans because again the quality of sound from these cassettes is poor and i get alot more enjoyment from listening to a CD release of these tracks. The quality is really noticeable between tracks and espcially on the quieter tracks. Bring on On The Sunday Of Life...

Report this review (#288301)
Posted Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Nostalgia Factory" (subtitled "...And Other Tips for Amateur Golfers") is the 3rd studio release by UK artist Steven Wilson under the pseudonym of Porcupine Tree. The album was released through Delerium Records in 1991. It was originally released in a limited number of copies on cassette tape and should probably be considered a demo album. Tracks 1 to 7, an edited version of "The Nostalgia Factory" and "This Long Silence", "Nine Cats" and "It Will Rain for a Million Years" were released on "On The Sunday Of Life... (1992)" (the official debut full-length studio album by Porcupine Tree). Tracks 1 to 7 and "It Will Rain for a Million Years" were all also featured on the 1990 "The Love, Death & Mussolini" demo EP (although the latter appear here in a much longer version). The only track from the EP which is not also featured on "The Nostalgia Factory" is "Out".

The short ambient intro "Hymn" seques into the delightfully dark and atmospheric "Footprints", and itīs interesting to hear a song from this early stage of Wilsonīs career, which could well have been written much later and included on an album like "Signify (1996)" or maybe even "Stupid Dream (1999)". But the next track "Linton Samuel Dawson" is completely different and takes the listener into psychadelic comedy rock land, with Wilsonīs vocals pitched to sound like a mouse singing. Itīs a high energy track with a great positive energy, but...itīs not exactly great art. "And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun" opens with a sample and an energetic and busy programmed drum beat, which more or less continues for the duration of the track, with ambient keyboards, soaring lead guitar themes, and Wilsonīs melancholic vocals fill the remaining part of the soundscape. Had the drums been played by a human being and had featured an organic tone, that track could have been a little more accomplished. Itīs still a pretty great track though.

"The Nostalgia Factory" continues with "Queen Quotes Crowley", which is another ambient psychadelic track featuring omnipresent guitar leads by Wilson, while all sorts of studio experiments with volume and backwards recordings run in the back. "No Luck With Rabbits" is a short ambient transition track to "Begonia Seduction Scene", which is a beautiful track comprising acoustic guitar and some atmospheric lead guitar themes. About midway through the track it gets a little darker and the atmosphere changes towards the ominous. "Colours Dance Angels Kiss" is completely different from the dark and gloomy mood of the preceding track as itīs another comedy rock track in the vein of "Linton Samuel Dawson", although not quite as helium induced. "Prayer" is short ambient track leading into the longer "The Nostalgia Factory" title track. Itīs a driving melancholic psychadelic rock song, featuring ambient looped synths, sound experiments, and Wilsonīs pitched sedated vocals. Itīs a track with a great atmosphere and loads of layers of different sounds. Definitely one of the highlights of this release. "The Long Silence" which follows is another. Had the drums not been programmed on this track it would sounded fully professional. Especially Wilsonīs vocals feature a great sound production on "The Long Silence".

"Sinatra Rape Scene" is up next and itīs a short backwards recorded sound piece segueing into "Hokey Cokey", which is an ambient psychadelic rock track which slowly builds, and which features a rather humorous sampled section in the middle. "Landscare" is a slow ominous sounding drone piece sequeing into the short "Delightful Suicide" which is another ambient track featuring a little guitar and keyboards spicing up the track. "Nine Cats" follows and itīs a singer/songwriter type track opening with mostly acoustic guitar and Wilson singing before programmed drums and bass come in and the song becomes a little louder and soft rocking. Itīs a nice melancholic pop/rock song and could have been featured on a mid-70 Pink Floyd album. "Split Image" is a sound collage type track building tension towards the closing track "It Will Rain For A Million Years", which is an ambient layered track featuring spoken words and subdued singing, soaring majestic lead guitar motifs, acoustic guitar and layers of keyboards. This version of the track is not the same as the version on "The Love, Death & Mussolini (1990)", as itīs 6 minutes longer than the original 4 minutes long track, making this version a 10 minutes long mammoth.

Upon conclusion "The Nostalgia Factory" is a good quality demo album, and it shows the many different aspects of 1980s/early 1990s Wilson. It can be argued that the demo is a bit redundant today as most of the material is featured on "On The Sunday Of Life... (1992)", but thatīs of course not fair, and a demo shouldnīt be judged like that. As it is a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#2542966)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2021 | Review Permalink

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