Everything started back sitting at my PC an early autumn Sunday evening. I had no will to review any album nor to start listening to one amongst the crazy amount of promos I had laying “dead” in the blog’s inbox. Just wanted some chilling out after a stressful day and it should have sprung by listening to some comforting records. I picked Porcupine Tree’s Signify first. Suddenly I knew what I should have been writing that evening.
So, here’s a splendid chart featuring the best 5 album Mr. Wilson and friends have ever crafted.
5 – Deadwing (2005)
Most likely PT’s heaviest album, Deadwing is full of big, long and haunting songs (Arriving Somewhere But Not Here or the title track itself) and features illustrious guest musicians such as Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) or Adrian Belew (King Crimson).
The result is an epic cocktail of metal-tinted prog rock adorned by catchy tunes as well.
4 – In Absentia (2002)
Considered as the true masterpiece by most PT’s fans, In Absentia is, without any doubt, the most “commercial” work recorded by the band.
No need to say it holds amazing tracks like: Blackest Eyes, Trains (Porcupine Tree’s best ballad) and The Sound of Muzak.
3 – Signify (1996)
This is pure fu**ing psychedelic prog rock.
PT offered here a vintage sound, Pink Floyd oriented and ambient contaminated work.
In this very period the band was quite popular here, in the Italian underground -they also recorded an amazing live album in Rome during these years- and that’s because we’re nostalgic about those times when music told us about hallucinogenic LSD trips and weird “acid” experiences. Well, Signify revives those unhealthy stories!
2 – Stupid Dream (1999)
The odd one in PT’s discography.
Half catchy, cheesy almost-pop tunes and half experimentations, long jams and icy sentiments.
Stupid Dream parts away from the psychedelic soul of their previous works, nonetheless is gifted with an enchanting yet relaxing aura.
This album includes epics such as: Even Less, Russia on Ice, Don’t Hate Me and the unusual Tinto Brass, which is the name of an Italian erotic movie director, however the original title was conceived as “Tin To Brass”.
1 – The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)
If Signify is “pure fu**ing psychedelic prog rock” this is the god of psychedelic rock.
The first part of the title track, an 18-minute long junkie monster, is THE quintessence of Porcupine Tree’s entire discography, and probably it’s one of the best track you’ll ever find in this dilated yet indecipherable music genre.
But after that, you’ll still have a bunch of valuable tunes to enjoy and get lost into.
Side Note: About “Staircase Infinities” (1994)
PT’s discography is huge and it’s quite easy to miss some good stuff amongst the unbelievable amount of music they released. So, if I’d have to suggest you one of the band’s smallest discs, the EP Staircase Infinities would be that one. It has been (luckily) included in the reissue CD version of Up The Downstairs and it plays 30 minutes of hypnotic, alienating and ethereal music. Definitely a must have!