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Porcupine Tree - Love, Death & Mussolini CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree

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5 stars And now, my thoughts about this record: Funny, awesome, clever, incredible, excellent, funny again, sweet, impressive, etc. What a fine piece of experimentation this is!. Along with the ussual sound effects and crazy mixes, you also get several spoonfulls of mistery and wild concepts to explore. It's almost like a good book (including the good ending).
Report this review (#9419)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Love, Death & Mussolini is a cassette release EP or an LP according to Steven Wilson's message at the back of the sleeve.

It was released in only 10 copies and is nearly impossible to get hold of it. It was released shortly after Tarquin's Seaweed Farm and before The Nostalgia Factory. As with the releases of this time by Porcupine Tree, most of the lyrics came from Alan Duffy who gave them to Steven Wilson.

Yet again this album had a fictious list of credits:

Porcupine Tree - Vocal, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass

Sir Tarquin Underspoon - Organ, Mellotron, Keyboards

Expanding Flun - Drums, Percussion

Solomain St. Jemain - Glissando Guitars and Vocals on "Queen Quotes Crowley"

JC Camillioni - Programming, Soundscapes

Of this list only JC Camillioni was real and the album was recorded at No-Man's Land Studios linking to No-Man which would be one of many projects that Steven Wilson would be a part of.

In the back of the sleeve of the album is a humerous message by Steven Wilson expaling why this album is not an EP and rather an LP:

An "extended player" is longer than a single but not long enough to be called an LP (long player). Here then are 3 songs and 2 instrumentals, new material from the band Porcupine Tree. These 5 tracks last for about 20 minutes in total. 20 minutes is a godd duration for an "extended player". However, "Love, Death & Mussolini" takes advantage of the cassette medium by including an additional 17 minutes taking it to an LP length. This is known as "value for money". In the music industry it is known as "marketing". Do your accounting to the sound of Porcupine Tree.

On to the tracks:

1) Hymn - This is a short instrumental track which would latter be realeashed on The Nostalgia Factory and in better quality On The Sunday Of Life... album.

2) Footprints - This is the first track to have lyrics and again the quality is poor due to the cassette release and would also be available on The Nostalgia Factory and On The Sunday Of Life...

3) Linton Samuel Dawson - This track is one of the better known early realeases but again has a very fuzzy quality to it and would later be realeased on the same two albums as above.

4) And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun - This track has the use of sampling that would later be used by Porcupine Tree to greater effect espcially on albums such as Signify.

5) Queen Quotes Crowley - This version of this track contains the ambient intro before the gibberish of Queen Quotes Crowley said backwards which would also later be released on The Nostalgia Factory but for On The Sunday Of Life... the ambient intro would be removed.

6) No Luck With Rabbits - This is the first track of Side B from the cassette and is a different version to the one that would later be on TNF and OTSOL. It is very similar to church bells at a wedding.

7) Begonia Seduction Scene - This is a track to relax to however the quality of this album spoils it in my opinion. These 7 track titles will also be the first 7 track titles for The Nostalgia Factory and would later all be released on what is the cream of the cassettes.

8) Out - This is a track that would only later be released on the vinyl edition of Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape and is a face paced space rock style song.

9) It Will Rain For A Million Years - This track is only available on this album however there is a track on the On The Sunday Of Life album that shares this title but is a different song.

Overall i think this album is only for collectors and hardcore fans as the quality is poor and most of the tracks can be found on other albums that contain more tracks. The only reason for getting hold of this would be to hear the tracks that are not realeased anywhere else but this is not an album that i go back to listen to and enjoy as much as the others.

Report this review (#288169)
Posted Friday, June 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Love, Death & Mussolini" is the second studio release by UK artist Steven Wilson under the pseudonym of Porcupine Tree. "The Love, Death & Mussolini" was released through No Man's Land in early 1990. It succeeds "Tarquin's Seaweed Farm" from 1989. The catalogue status of "The Love, Death & Mussolini" is a bit unclear as it has been called an EP, an album, and a demo by various souces. Iīll go with the latter as it was released in a very limited number of copies on cassette tape. Tracks 1 to 7 would be included on "On The Sunday Of Life... (1992)" (the official debut full-length studio album by Porcupine Tree).

"The Love, Death & Mussolini" features 9 tracks and a total playing time of 35:39 minutes, so while it is generally considered an (demo) EP itīs an almost album length long release. 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 filling 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 Love, Death & Mussolini" 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. The 8:59 minutes long "Out" is up next, and itīs a hard rocking psychadelic rock song, featuring a driving rhythm and a middle eastern tinged lead theme. Itīs like listening to Wilson playing Hawkwind or something in that vein. "The Love, Death & Mussolini" closes with "It Will Rain For A Million Years" which "Out" seques into. "It Will Rain For A Million Years" is an ambient layered track featuring spoken words and subdued singing, soaring majestic lead guitar motifs, acoustic guitar and layers of keyboards.

While not all tracks on "The Love, Death & Mussolini" are equally interesting or accomplished, the big difference between the material on "Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (1989)" and the material on this release, is the level of professionalism in both the musicianship and the recording techniques. Itīs obvious Wilson was fast learning more about recording and also honed his skills as a musician. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#2542965)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2021 | Review Permalink

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