Review : Porcupine Tree - The Incident
NowtorontoA sticker on the front of Porcupine Tree’s 10th studio album notes the inclusion of a 55-minute song with the same name as the album, as well as another called Remember Me Lover that appears on the second CD. Two CDs and a 55-minute song? A tad daunting. But the second CD has just four songs, and the Brit prog rockers break the 55-minute epic into 14 “movements” whose beginnings and endings subtly blend into one another very much like a 14-song album.
Steven Wilson brings his gentle vocals to the pummelling, psychedelic proceedings and sings about real-life tragic events like car accidents, drownings and religious cult activities in Texas. Stellar 12-minute opus Time Flies teems with Pink Floydesque arrangements and moving lyrics, while Octane Twisted offers up massive guitar riffage that you can bang your head to.
Porcupine Tree play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Wednesday (September 30).
Top track: Octane Twisted...full text
Rollingstone"I was born in '67/The year of Sgt. Pepper and Are You Experienced?": Steven Wilson, singer-founder of this defiantly progressive-rock British band, puts his ideals up front in "Time Flies," the propulsive, grand-jangle heart of The Incident. He is as good as his reach. The title suite on this two-CD set is the Tree's finest hour: a mounting drama of memoir and real-news trauma, animated with slicing guitars, ghost-song electronics, mile-high harmonies and smart pop bait. The action is rich in classicism — add King Crimson and early Genesis to Wilson's list of high standards, which all come with renewed life....full text
AllmusicOver the years, trying to determine what is true "prog rock" and what is not has become an increasingly tricky proposition. In the early '70s, it was easy -- any band that performed "suites" that extended across entire album sides and dressed in capes and/or cloaks was a dead giveaway. However, when the early '80s rolled around, most former prog rockers trimmed out the fat from their compositions (and exchanged their medieval wear and kimonos for what looked like sports coats). Ever since, there have been bands that have aligned themselves to either of the aforementioned prog rock approaches. But along came Porcupine Tree, who somehow have found a way to incorporate both into their 2009 effort, The Incident. Set up similarly to Rush's 1978 classic, Hemispheres, The Incident is comprised of a single long song -- the title track -- that features many different movements (which would have taken up the entire side one back in the good ol' days of vinyl), as well as a handful of shorter compositions that close the album. The aforementioned title track will certainly be the talk of the album, as it manages to incorporate bombast and melody (the sixth movement, which shares the album's title), rock ("Octane Twisted"), Yes' folky moments ("The Seance"), and Tool-like grooves ("Circle of Manias"), before it all gently floats away on a cloud of fairy dust ("I Drive the Hearse"). That said, unlike early proggers who favored meandering instrumental doodling over succinct songwriting, Porcupine Tree always favor the importance of memorable songs over flashy solos, which certainly makes the group one of the top modern-day prog rock bands....full text
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