Porcupine Tree - The Incident

2009-09-21 | |

Hemel Hempstead isn't exactly a place that pops up in everyday conversation. Sure, it had its fifteen minutes of fame with that oil terminal fire in '05, but, nobody really looks at it beyond its position as another dot on an A-road in England. That will always be the case...until people give Porcupine Tree's latest aural extravaganza a chance.

Despite the pretentious titles, (which can be forgiven because it's Prog-Rock), Porcupine Tree's latest foray into the field of popular music, titled The Incident, is far from being stuck-up Prog. In fact, in places it lends itself to be quite poppy. I could forgive anyone for mistaking Drawing the Line for the works of a good pop/rock group.

However, let's not do a song-by-song rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly on this album. Let's take it as a whole, because each song on Disc 1 is an extension of "The Incident" as a whole.

It's a two disc-er, and it's a world apart from Fear of a Blank Planet or Deadwing, but yet it's still the same old Porcupine Tree. Sure, they tried to update, to change the sound; to become fresher. In spite of all of that, I still hear the same old, tried and tested sound of Porcupine Tree, even under the lines "I was born in '67, the year of Sergeant Pepper...". It's got moments of melodic, almost post-rock vibes in it - not quite Friends of Dean Martinez, but on the same wavelength; and that shows great promise in such a long album, where songs need their long breaks to be captivating.

All of that aside, I'm not a true prog fan. I can barely suffer the dreads of symphonic metal or funeral-sludge rock. I can't even hack a Merzbow album, so, for me, a 2 disc-er that fits the first hour on the one disc, and the rest on another, just screams "NO! Put her down! Don't do it!" However, I have always been pleasantly surprised with Porcupine Tree. They have a sound that I never seem to be able to encapsulate. They're pop, but not; rock, but not quite mainstream; prog, but without the pretences. They're a reason for me to drop all this genre nonsense, and in doing so, say

Go ahead. Listen to what you want, because I'm going to review anything, regardless of genre. Thank you, Porcupine Tree for the inspiration.

Overall: 7/10 - It's a good album. It's got a few kinks in it that are probably accentuated by my own innate biases; but, I suppose it's one for all the younger metal fans to branch out with.

Top Track: The Blind House (Honorable mention to Time Flies)

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