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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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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A space transmission indeed.

Not for the feint of heart, or the core progger, Porcupine Tree's [PT] ''Debut'' is definately a strange one. I say ''Debut'', because this is really a compilation of material from PT's previous eps that are now only something of legend. It's also good to note that at this point the band was nothing more than Mr. Wilson doing some experimenting on the side of his other bands , thus, he's really the only one on the album, with a few guests of course. None the less, while strange this is definately a good album that demands listening to from people who want to now where this band started.

The roots go deep, and only some of the material on here is even remotely like what PT would later become. Quirky songs like JUPITER ISLAND, THE NOSTALGIA FACTORY and LINTON SAMUEL DAWSON will make the prog-goers cock their heads in bewilderment, while other may simply bounce with delight over the strangitude of the heightened vocals and quirky music. This is obviously not the direction PT chose to go, and people who listen to them in this era of their life will simply be astounded that evil frontman Steve actually has a sense of humor.

Structurally this album is odd as well. Eighteen songs, only a few reaching the 5 minute mark, definately not something the PT fan is used to. Some of the songs are pure throwaways, intro-outros to other songs, while some are simply bizarre and incredibly creepy in the case of something like SPACE TRANSMISSION. Ultimately, though, these short songs do add to the album and the style they were trying to achieve.

This album would be a fan-only recommendation if not for a couple true moments of brilliance. The song NINE CATS has a very peculiar charm to it, it's very pretty while still in the style of PT. IT WILL RAIN FOR A MILLION YEARS is a sign of things to come, the 10+ minute song definately hints in the direction of prog for the band and sounds like something out of their Up The Downstair years. It's RADIOACTIVE TOY, however, that steals the show. Creepy, long, well constructed and well composed, RADIOACTIVE TOY is one of PT's finest moments even to this day. Certainly the direction the band chose to take after the first album and likely the precursor to their Deadwing era with it's dark lyrics and music. Steven Wilson proves his talent on this single track and luckily manages to carry out it's promise to this day.

So everything aside, what does the album get?

3 stars, good, but not essential. While tracks such as the spectacular RADIOACTIVE TOY are a must, there is far too much material on this album that may not appeal to the non-PT-fan. Even fans of PT's current work should be warned, as this is a whole 'nother beast. Great album, if quite an aquired taste.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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