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Porcupine Tree - On the Sunday of Life... CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.04 | 974 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars If the listener goes in knowing what to expect-- namely that "On the Sunday of Life" sounds nothing like anything else ever released by the band-- then the shock of hearing this very ambient and eccentric collection of songs will probably go over a lot smoother than it did for me during my first listen. It's been a long time since I backtracked through Steven Wilson's extensive catalogue, and I warn fans of Porcupine Tree doing the same to be wary when approaching this one-- it is not at all like the big art-rock they put out today.

"Sunday of Life" is a proto-type of the band's well respected early sound, recorded and performed entirely by SW. The emphasis is on atmosphere, effects, and going on a musical journey that is sometimes exciting and sometimes frustrating-- but always weird, which is a big part of its charm. Wilson's guitar work is deceptively good here, at first coming across as somewhat repetitive and bland but blooming into dynamic soundscapes which stand side-by-side with his layered keyboard. His voice retains a higher register than we hear today, and his lyrics are positively bizarre. Highlights include "Radioactive Toy" (the only song which sounds similar to later material, and is still played live), as well as the follow-up "Nine Cats", which features fun lyrics and a beautiful vocal delivery.

To sum up, "Sunday of Life" is by no means bad, but when compared to later output just doesn't hold up. Still, I highly recommend this to dedicated Steven Wilson fans, as well as those who prefer PT's more psychedelic albums to their contemporary hard rock ones.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |


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