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PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Porcupine Tree biography
PORCUPINE TREE are incredibly hard to describe because their music doesn't fit into any one genre. I like the description on the back of the album "Signify" (one of my all time favorites). It says "Porcupine Tree have managed to defy genres and blend together numerous ambient, rock and avant-garde styles to create a musical landscape that is both refreshing and compulsively seductive". The great post-GONG revival which gave birth to OZRIC TENTACLES now brings us PORCUPINE TREE. The hypnotic rhythms, spacy synthesizers, glissando guitar and crazy voices which made the style successful are all contained here.

The band started as a solo project of singer-songwriter-guitarist Steve Wilson who, back in the early nineties, released a series of increasingly spaced-out ambient excursions. PT is one of the most innovative bands in prog today combining intense musicianship, unconventional composition and superb studio production. They are unquestionably one of the UK's most inspired and inventive rock groups.

The bands 4th studio album from '96. "Signify" saw Porcupine Tree truly gell as a studio band producing a blend of psychedelia, heavy rock, melancholic pop, kraut rock, and wild experimentation that brought the best out of each band member. Their latest two albums ("Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun") move the band further away from their influences and into their own catagory, by which other bands eventually will be compared. But if you are a fan of progressive, thoughtful, briliantly executed and flawlessly produced music, you will do no better than PT.

PORCUPINE TREE's eighth studio album, "Deadwing", was released in March 2005 by Lava Records / Warner Music. Less rock-oriented than the previous album "In Absentia", "Deadwing" is partially based on a "surreal ghost story" screenplay written by Steven and sometime PORCUPINE TREE / NO-MAN art collaborator Mike Bennion. The 60-minute, nine-track album contains material varying from short airplay-friendly songs such as 'Shallow' to lengthier pieces like the 10-minute-plus 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here'. Most of the music was written by Steven but the album features the largest amount of full-band compositions since "Signify" in 1997. The album also features guest appearances by Adrian Belew (KING CRIMSON) and Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH).

In 2007 the band scored it's biggest chart success to date with "Fear Of A Blank Planet". Featuring contributions from Alex Lifeson and Robert Fripp...
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In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Lava 2002
Audio CD$3.59
$1.94 (used)
Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$7.73
$4.49 (used)
Lightbulb SunLightbulb Sun
Import · Special Edition
Snapper UK 2008
Audio CD$10.08
$11.00 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Lava 2005
Audio CD$8.13
$4.99 (used)
The IncidentThe Incident
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$7.30
$2.76 (used)
Stupid DreamStupid Dream
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$11.12
$17.69 (used)
SignifySignify
Special Edition
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.31
$7.32 (used)
Up the DownstairUp the Downstair
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.31
$13.32 (used)
Sky Moves SidewaysSky Moves Sideways
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.28
$8.11 (used)
On the Sunday of LifeOn the Sunday of Life
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$6.61
$5.99 (used)
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PORCUPINE TREE shows & tickets


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PORCUPINE TREE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PORCUPINE TREE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 636 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.92 | 746 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.08 | 1014 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.80 | 897 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 1020 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.01 | 1122 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.23 | 1881 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.09 | 1553 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.23 | 1916 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.71 | 1212 ratings
The Incident
2009

PORCUPINE TREE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.45 | 373 ratings
Coma Divine Live
1997
3.76 | 70 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.67 | 117 ratings
XM
2003
4.14 | 7 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.93 | 261 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.05 | 118 ratings
XMII
2005
4.25 | 144 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.50 | 136 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.35 | 206 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.65 | 103 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.26 | 161 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.51 | 143 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

PORCUPINE TREE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.57 | 454 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.72 | 446 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.27 | 41 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

PORCUPINE TREE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.51 | 95 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.20 | 303 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.17 | 310 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.23 | 210 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
2002

PORCUPINE TREE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 49 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.21 | 39 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
2.98 | 36 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.48 | 21 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.67 | 92 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.92 | 44 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.24 | 52 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.82 | 148 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.81 | 41 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.30 | 72 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
3.95 | 19 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
3.64 | 14 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.96 | 28 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
2.83 | 39 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.82 | 40 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.88 | 40 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.03 | 54 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.20 | 49 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.08 | 83 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.94 | 174 ratings
Metanoia
2001
3.40 | 121 ratings
Futile
2003
3.31 | 27 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.55 | 103 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.91 | 420 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
3.99 | 61 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
2.62 | 57 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.80 | 5 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Deadwing by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.09 | 1553 ratings

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Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars After the success of the previous album 'In Absentia', which was pretty consistently prog metal instead of the previous albums having a few metal songs here and there, Porcupine Tree decided to maintain the heaviness but Deadwing features a more alt metal-twinged sound in my opinion.

Deadwing opens up with the title track, which sets the pace of the album really well. Many well-performed transitions between heavy crunching riffs and mellower passages take place here. Unlike the previous album, Deadwing featured two singles that were pretty successful on modern rock radio; The heavy 'Shallow' and the ballad 'Lazarus'. 'Shallow' is one of my favorites on the album, with great heavy-soft transitions, an awesome Tool- like chorus, and a crazy bridge with tons of distortion. The concert-staple 'Halo' is another one of my favorites with a kick-ass bass-line by Edwin. Probably my favorite song on the album is the Tool-esque 'Open Car', which has some great riffing.

Of course I can't forget the epic 'Arriving Somewhere...but not Here', which has very beautiful lyrics and an awesome build up for some great guitar work. Also featured on certain editions of the album is a re-recording of the classic 'Shesmovedon' from 'Lightbulb Sun'. I actually prefer this version of the song to the original, it sounds cleaner and the production sounds better.

The lyrics on the album are very strong, 'Halo' having some of the best on the album. The lyrics of the aforementioned song are about using religion as an excuse to do cruel things and wage war, with such lyrics as 'God gives meaning, God gives pain' and 'I got a halo round me, I got a halo round me I'm not the same as you'. There have been plans for a movie based around Deadwing, not sure how that will turn out but it could be interesting.

Overall, Another Porcupine Tree masterpiece. I recommend this album to any fan of progressive metal or alternative metal. Porcupine Tree would come back two years later with one of their most critically acclaimed albums and rightfully so.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1020 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat

4 stars This was the first Porcupine Tree album that was done over a shorter amount of time, or in specific sessions. All of the other PT albums up to this point had been done over periods of time and collected to put together an album. As a result, this album is definitely more focused and perfected, as the songs were all worked out and concentrated on until they were album-ready.

The budget for this album was also much larger than in the past, thus allowing them to spend the time in the studio to concentrate on the songs. With this budget, an orchestra was also brought in to give the album a richer, fuller sound. This was also a transitional album, even though some transition was seen in "Signify", this album confirms the transition away from psychedelic/spacey improvised works to more concise music which would be more accessible and would concentrate more on the songwriting skills of Steven Wilson but also on his instrumentation skills to keep things interesting.

So, listeners are going to notice a difference in this album compared to prior albums. I think PT did an excellent job of bringing together the changes and still making them sound like they weren't selling out to music corporation pressure. The idea behind this album is that people should think about their "Stupid Dream" of becoming a professional rock musician, because the glitz and glamour comes at a high price. The music you have to write and the fact that you bare your soul to the public in your music is very important and making your music personal is what music should be about. However, the price you pay for doing this is knowing that your music is going to end up on an "assembly line" and become a product. Also, you spend the rest of the time promoting and selling your music. All of this takes the personal aspect of the music away. Even though this is not a pleasant thought or task, it is a necessity and that is the hard and unpleasant work that comes with the job. Hence the art work of CDs being processed in a factory or industrial type setting.

The music here is excellent. Most of the songs deal with personalities with different eccentrics. Though it is not as well developed as it would become on the amazing albums "In Absentia", "Deadwing" and "Fear of a Blank Planet", it is still excellent. I don't want to go through track by track but I want to talk about the highlights a bit. The album opens up with "Even Less" which originally was a 14+ minute song (which is available on other recordings) that was pared down to 7+ minutes. Even cut down, this is an excellent song and introduces you to the new sound which promises you quality music which can be thoughtful at times and exciting at others. This one focuses on louder guitars. This is followed up by another excellent song "Piano Lessons" which has an excellent hook and a hard driving beat and is finished up with a wonderful guitar solo.

"Slave Called Shiver" and "Don't Hate Me" are actually songs about similar subjects. They both deal with characters that are obsessed with someone else, with the first one being more uptempo and the 2nd a more thoughtful slower tempo. "Don't Hate Me" sounds like the person is pleading with the subject of his obsession to accept him even though he has called her on the telephone and possibly stalked her but he raises her to a level far above himself. There is a nice saxophone solo here that sounds totally relevant. Excellent song and also the longest on the album.

"Baby Dream in Cellophane" is a moody beautiful song where the character is a baby thinking about whether he or she should accept the role that society is going to give to it. Genius. "Stranger by the Minute" is a wonderful song with the first instance of the beautiful signature harmonics we would hear a lot more of from PT in the future. Inspired by CSN&Y's harmonics as Steven Wilson admits he was listening to a lot of their music at the time (along with Soundgarden, Jeff Buckley, Todd Rundgren and Brian Wilson....now listen to the album and you can hear the influences). "A Smart Kid" is sung by a kid that is either a survivor of an apocalypse, though I think it is more in his imagination, that he is talking to an alien race pleading for them to "take him in". Maybe he is wishing in his mind that he would be better accepted in their society where they would understand him better. I love the processed vocals here that make it sound like the main character is alone in the universe and speaking inside his head, hence the idea that it is in his imagination.

"Tinto Brass" is named after an Italian movie director and the voice is Steven Wilson's girlfriend simply reading in Japanese a list of his movies. I bet you thought it was something more adventurous than that, but sometimes imagination is better than reality. Anyway, this is a hard driving instrumental that will get your heart racing. I love the way the song is mixed so that all of the instruments are heard equally even when the great flute solo and guitar solos come along, that they are not spotlighted so much as to drown out the excellent bass line and keyboards that are added to back up the solos. This way you can hear so much more of what's going on. The last track is one of Stephen Wilson's favorites. "Stop Swimming" is about the thought that we all have that we should stop swimming against the tide and just flow along with the current. This idea is not being promoted in the song though and Wilson said that you would never have to worry about him doing that which is why this is such a sad song since it is so tempting for us all to do this. But don't do it. Be yourself!

Anyway, you can hear the changes the band was going through and the approach to the masterpieces that were to come soon. I love this album, but it is not as good as what was to come. It is an excellent addition to your prog library and an important album for PT fans. 4 stars.

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 Deadwing by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.09 | 1553 ratings

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Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars I have heard this album a thousand times, and from the first listen, I have loved the guts right out of this album. If ever there was an essential masterpiece of prog recorded in the new century, this is it. Hard, heavy, dark and beautiful, flowing, amazing....the strength in this album is in the dynamics all through the album and that is what I love so much about it....a masterpiece of dynamics. From the sudden crash of guitars after the electronic opening in the first track to the crazy guitar solo at the end of "Shesmovedon" there is no weakness or filler here....this is one solid chunk of progressive awesomeness.

Ok, so some of you might think I'm going overboard here....but face it, Steven Wilson is the current god of progressive rock and he saves his best works for Porcupine Tree and lately for his own solo albums. Each song on this album is well written. Each note in it's proper place, yet it plays through without any forced emotion or sound. It is so tempting to do a track by track analysis, but I usually avoid that and it's been done a thousand times here already. Just let it be said that the heavy passages blow me away everytime and the softer or mid tempo songs just flow beautifully. Just listen to the way on "Deadwing" when it comes to the long instrumental bridge, how it lulls you back into a hypnotic somewhat hypnotic pulse and suddenly the craziest guitar solo comes along out of nowhere accented by incredible percussive smacks and blasts you out of your chair. When you think you are safe from that first track, along comes another even heavier song "Shallow" and by the end of it your pulse is racing. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the beauty of the amazing song "Lazarus" pulls you down to earth again and the emotion of all these moods just almost overwhelms you to the point of tears.

Next the dark heavy rocker "Halo" talks about the dark side of self-righteousness. Again the instrumental break is crazy, a roller coaster of crazy guitar interspersed with quieter yet still heavy percussion and bass. Then when the vocals start again, a piano is driving the song forward and you just sit there wondering where did that come from?

"Arriving Somewhere But Not Here".....my first song I ever heard by Porcupine Tree. What a masterpiece this song is. Everytime it gives my shivers the way it lulls you into what almost seems an uneasy calm, builds up the way it does, but when that explosion hits in the instrumental bridge, you find out that somewhere along the way things went completely out of control and all you want to do is push it faster and faster until you find out you have entered into black metal territory for a few minutes and you are loving it, but suddenly you emerge from the tunnel, still traveling just as fast. I can't tell you better than that what an amazing song this is. Of course, the first time I head it, I was sold. Suddenly, I could not get enough Porcupine Tree and I now know everyone of their albums and most of SW's other projects as well.

So, I started doing a track by track analysis anyway. I was afraid of that. But this music takes a hold of me every time. The rest of the album is just as good and maybe some of you need a little more time to get it, but to me it is pure music heaven. Just the right touch of hard, heavy and soft and beautiful. It's perfect! And it's a masterpiece! 5 major stars!!!!!

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 The Sky Moves Sideways  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.08 | 1014 ratings

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by stefanblazanovic

2 stars Well I decided to move to porcupine tree's earlier stuff and I thought I would start out with "the sky moves sideways" their well known album in the early 1990's. And the first thing that came through my mind when finishing this album is "Pink Floyd ripoff". I'm not a huge fan of pink Floyd but I do enjoy their album "wish you were here" and "the sky moves sideways" is basically a clone of wish you were here. Sure there are some porcupine tree originally (aka Steven Wilson's originally) in this album but the pink Floyd influences are much more noticeable and that what ruins the album for me. It's hard to listen to this album when you listened to "wish you were here" first and you enjoyed the album. But if I hadn't listened to wish you were here first. then this album would be rated 4/5 stars but instead it's going to be 2 stars. It's not that I hate this album. But everytime I want to listen to the album I usually end up listening to something else after the first 2 tracks. I believe that their newer stuff (from stupid dream to fear of a blank planet) is much more original and more tolerable rather then the earlier stuff. But I guess I cannot really say that because I haven't listened to much of their earlier stuff but so far. I'm not impressed.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1020 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Fearabsentia

3 stars Porcupine Tree-Stupid Dream

Stupid Dream is the fifth studio album by Progressive metal/Alternative rock band Porcupine Tree. 'Stupid Dream' marks a stylistic change in Porcupine Tree's sound. Their first four albums followed a metal infused space-rock sound, but the previous release 'Signify' showed a slight shift in sound.

Unlike 'Signify' however, 'Stupid Dream' mostly follows an alternative rock path with the normal metal elements mixed in. It begins with a very strong opener 'Even Less', which was originally a fourteen minute long song, cut short to seven for the album. The bridge of this song is where the really heavy crunching guitar comes in, and builds up. The album also includes Porcupine Tree's first successful single, 'Piano Lessons'. This song is definitely radio-friendly and light music, the lyrics are nice but I find it kind of boring.

My three favorites from the album include 'Slave Called Shiver', which has some awesome bass work by Edwin and has a really funky beat. This song has almost a funk metal feel to it. 'Baby Dream in Cellophane' is a very dark and menacing song that has great acoustics. It has a very nice atmospheric vibe. 'Tinto Brass' is the heaviest song on the album, being a pretty experimental metal instrumental.

Overall, I don't have much else to say about this album. I honestly find a lot of the songs on this album boring, none of the songs are bad just pretty bland. In my opinion they would refine this new style on the next album.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally Written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 1916 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by stefanblazanovic

3 stars So for my first review I've decided to go with "Fear of a Blank Planet" By the band Porcupine tree. To get things started I have to say that this is a great album. But it isn't the greatest album by them. Why? Well you notice in this album that the music has increased in quality. They've turned more progressive so we'll be noticing longer songs, different time signatures But as the lyrics go.... well it's the worst lyrics I've seen in any album by porcupine tree. It sounds like something linkin park, deftones, and KoRn would write on their albums. It's whiny, annoying and more importantly... It's about teens which the target audience is for teens.

Fear of a Blank Planet (B+)

My Ashes (D+)

Anesthetize (A-)

Sentimental (C+)

Way out of here (C+)

Sleep Together (B)

Overall Album (B) or 3.5 Stars

Fear of a blank planet will bring a lot of surprises to a porcupine tree fan because this album is much heavier than previous album "Deadwing". And quite frankly I enjoy the instrumentals, they bring a lot of life into the song but the lyrics draw me out and I have to constantly remind myself that I'm listening to porcupine tree.

Fear of a Blank planet is a great opener track. It's catchy, melodic, heavy and proggy in some parts. and it has that porcupine tree feel throughout the song, The lyrics are a problem like I've stated before but I enjoy this song very much and it's the second best song out of the album. My Ashes is a very weak song in the album and I tend to zone out while listening to the song so giving a review would be unfair so I'll skip it. Anesthetize.... The closest thing porcupine tree has come to a masterpiece. This 17 minute epic is one of the best progressive metal songs I've heard in a long time. The 3 parts to anesthetize are interesting because not only they sound different but the transition into each part fits prefectly so it maintains that flow throughout the song. And the last part is one of the most beautiful things I've heard in a while.

Sentimental... don't have much to say about this song. The soundscapes sound great but overall a decent song nothing special. Same applies to Way out of here, Steven's vocals are great in the song but otherwise I find myself skipping this song. Sleep together..... What a song. It's a different song but in a good way. It's their most experimental song in the album but they seemed to have nailed it. It's a nice song with a nice outro at the end closing off the album.

Overall I think this album is great but not their best for sure. While the album holds some amazing songs. The album holds some bad apples which I usually find myself skipping. But would I waste my 10 dollars to get this album? No. The album is good don't get me wrong but unless I was a diehard porcupine tree fan I would get this album. But as a casual prog rock listener. I would pass it and get something else. It's not that it's a terrible album and I would get it if was on sale. but if it wasn't for Anesthetize.... this album rating would go lower and I think we all know that....

3.5 Stars

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 On The Sunday Of Life.....  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.02 | 636 ratings

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On The Sunday Of Life.....
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Porcupine Tree didn't exist as an actual band when this first official album was released in 1992. So it makes sense that the effort was an ersatz affair, cobbled together from a pair of older audio- cassette recordings made by a precocious youngster named Steve Wilson, barely out of his teens at the time.

The fantasy 'band' would later come to vivid life as a legitimate group. But in the beginning Wilson imagined them as post-modern, psychedelic teeny-boppers, with fanciful stage names like Timothy Tadpole-Jones and Sir Tarquin Underspoon. The band's drummer, much like the nominal Echo of earlier Bunnymen fame, was a rhythm box known as The Expanding Flan.

The music itself is mostly atmospheric jams with ambient filler, anchored by several outright, airtight pop songs, many of them sporting odd, processed vocals making Wilson resemble Alvin the Chipmunk (in "The Nostalgia Factory"), or a pre-pubescent Geddy Lee (in "Linton Samuel Dawson", name-checking a non-existent light-show operator: Porcupine Tree's own imaginary Pete Sinfield). At least one song, the bouncy "Jupiter Island", sounds atypically not unlike a techno-pop Thomas Dolby hit. And the punchline is further telegraphed by titles recalling Monty Python ("No Luck With Rabbits") or The Mothers of Invention ("Message From a Self-Destructing Turnip").

Much of the album is hard to reconcile with the distinctive Heavy Prog of later PT releases, although a measure of foreshadowing can be heard in the fan favorite "Radioactive Toy", and the nearly eleven-minute "It Will Rain For a Million Years". The former in particular, with its convincing Dave Gilmour guitar mimicry, helped earn the fledgling band its now overused nickname of Porcupink Floyd.

Steve Wilson may have invented the fictitious group as a joke, but without real musicians he wouldn't be able to fashion anything like a stable musical identity until after the project took on a life of its own. There are times when he overplays his youthful enthusiasm, in the abundance of backward tape effects, random voice samples, and so on. And at 75-minutes the album might have been effectively condensed even further from its original sources. But for a homemade studio experiment it offers ample proof of Wilson's skill and confidence on either side of the microphone: as a producer and a performer.

Consider it as a collection of unpolished demo recordings...not for an upcoming album, but for an entire future band.

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 The Sky Moves Sideways  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.08 | 1014 ratings

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

3 stars As much as I love Wish You Were Here/Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, I cannot really find myself enjoying this album as much as I hoped. For me, Porcupine Tree's really amazing material comes from Stupid Dream onward, with quite a few outstanding tracks coming from the period before then. Perhaps the Radiohead (a band I like, but don't listen to often) influence was simply the cherry on top of Porcupine Tree's sound for me.

Here, the music and melodies just don't seem as strong as they are on Wish You Were Here. While the entirety of Wish You Were Here may be a bit to digest for the average rock listener, it still contained fantastic melodies, transitions, and instrumentals that solidified it as an incredible album. As good as Steven Wilson is at songwriting, The Sky Moves Sideways just doesn't really cut it, for me at least.

That's not to say that I don't find some of this album particularly outstanding. Tracks such as the first part of the The Sky Moves Sideways and The Moon Touches Your Shoulder are particularly great. But as a whole, I just can't enjoy this album as much as I would have liked.

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 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 1881 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

5 stars This was one of the albums that helped me further delve into Steven Wilson's projects and progressive music in general. While I had listened to more metal-inspired progressive music, such as Symphony X and even Opeth, I was unaware of Porcupine Tree and the entire progressive rock movement from the 1970s. In that way, In Absentia is a fairly dear album to me.

My rating of this album, though, is not based solely on a sentimental nature; the songwriting is top-notch, and each track manages to flow cohesively and even stand on its own. Much of the nature of Porcupine Tree's sound here lies in the subtleties of the music, and each song possesses its own atmosphere. While there are a few tracks that are not up to par with the ones that I consider the best on this CD, I find that the entire experience is incredibly pleasurable.

Even though some may argue that the music on here is not true progressive, I find that it merits a 5 star rating even on this site because of the progressive tendencies of many of the songs and because of the simply incredible songwriting on here.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1020 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

5 stars Porcupine Tree is a band that I know fairly well, and I love nearly all of their discography. This album, though, certainly claims its spot as my favorite of theirs. The new popish sensibilities are quite nicely woven together with some of their proggy and spacey music, creating an interesting blend. There is a great deal of variety on the album, yet there is still some nice cohesiveness to it all as well.

Some tracks soar to some really cool heights. Opener Even Less, Piano Lessons, A Smart Kid, Baby Dream in Cellophane, and closer Stop Swimming are all enjoyable highlights on this album, each creating an interesting tapestry within a wall of sound.

Stupid Dream essentially helped usher in a new age for Porcupine Tree, as they relied less on their space rock influence and gained a more diverse array of influences.

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