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Porcupine Tree

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by DesolateEarth, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. DesolateEarth Mar 20, 2017
    (Last edited: Mar 20, 2017)


    There are probably aren't a lot of fans here, but this band really deserves its own thread. In Absentia, Deadwing, and Fear of a Blank Planet are all juggernauts in the 2000's rock catalog. I love the fusion of prog rock and metal that those three releases managed to blend, and they honestly do it better than most other bands I know that try for a similar sound. They aren't perfect records by any means, and there are certainly some misses here and there (*cough cough* "Open Car"), but when they are good ("Prodigal", "Deadwing", "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", "Anesthetize", and "Sleep Together" to name just a few examples) they are REALLY good! They have a bunch of other albums spanning back more than 20 years, but I wasn't huge on anything pre-In Absentia, and The Incident, while not awful, is not, in my opinion, a very strong showing of what they are capable of.

    I figured I'd start this thread now because the 10th anniversary of FOABP is coming up next month. It's hard to pick favorites because all three of the albums I have mentioned have their own unique strengths, but I would say FOABP has the least filler and flaws, and has also withstood the test of time the best. It's also a very beautifully mixed record thanks to Steven Wilson's ear for making albums sound really good.
    navidson likes this.
  2. TriangularDuck

    Regular Supporter

    I'm a huge fan of all the SW associated projects. I think, of the three albums you listed, Blank Planet is my least favorite though. Sleep Together is a juggernaut of a track, but nothing else really stands out. Still love the album though.
  3. DesolateEarth


    I miss this band.
  4. christsizedshoes Oct 7, 2018
    (Last edited: Oct 7, 2018)


    Got big into this band in the early 2000s, loved Deadwing, but they started to lose me some after that.

    I find all of SW's solo stuff to be a mixed bag, with Raven the most consistent.

    Now that it's been almost a decade and I don't listen to them that much anymore, I'd say in hindsight that Steven is a great songwriter and a fantastic producer/engineer, but a below-average lyricist and only a serviceable vocalist. The Stupid Dream to Deadwing run is great in spite of those limitations, though.
    DesolateEarth likes this.
  5. DrownTheWorkforce


    One of my favorites. Steven's solo work is fine, but it's not the same.
    DesolateEarth likes this.
  6. DesolateEarth


    Interesting. I personally would have included Fear Of A Blank Planet in their good album run. Love it. Agree with you that lyrics are not steven's strong point.

    Opinion on Deadwing: fantastic album, but I wish they had left off Open Car and replaced it with So Called Friend. Open Car is easily the weakest song on the album and So Called Friend is a much better heavier song both musically and lyrically imo.
  7. DesolateEarth


    I should listen to The Incident again soon. It has some very good moments, its just not as consistent as the three before it.
    christsizedshoes likes this.
  8. christsizedshoes


    I wouldn't be opposed to that swap-out on Deadwing. They had some kick ass B-sides around that time. "Drown with Me" has to be one of the highlights in their whole catalog. "Half Light" and "Meantime" stand out too, in addition to "So Called Friend."

    I liked the majority of FoABP a lot. The thing is I feel like it's precisely the point in SW's career when he started giving precedence to some of his worst tendencies. Lyrically, it's the cringey takes on modern youth/society ("but a song comes onto my iPod and I realize it's getting late" literally ruins that whole song for me before it even starts). And musically, I see it as the record when he stopped using Floyd/Rush/Crimson/etc. as loose inspiration for a modern rock sound and started just trying to emulate 70s prog outright half the time. Both of these things have tempered his solo career, IMO.

    Still, "My Ashes," "Anesthetize," "Sleep Together"... all fantastic songs in their own right.
  9. DesolateEarth


    It doesnt ruin the song or music for me per say, but Steven does come off as very pretentious at times which is disappointing.
  10. vidiviciveni


    It’s funny, I’m not overly a fan of Porcupine Tree or his proggy writing in general, but Lazarus is literally my favorite song of all time, and Trains would probably be top 20

    When they nail it they nail it so fucking beautifully

    Embed thyselves damn thee
    DesolateEarth likes this.
  11. DesolateEarth


    Trains is wonderful. The first porcupine tree song I ever heard actually!

    Have you ever heard Prodigal? If you like Trains you might love that song. It's my favorite off In Absentia.
  12. genericities


    Loving In Absentia. Trains is a bit reminiscent of Elliott Smith, oddly.