Yes, you read that right: “Porcupine Tree” is our topic for today. When people mention progressive rock music the two big guns that will come up are Radiohead and Tool. But not, for some reason, Porcupine Tree. Well, the reason is pretty obvious: no one’s ever heard of them. They are softer than Tool, and unlike Radiohead do not always sound depressed, so are in fact a far more accessible band. However, they still retain a huge variety in their sound from rock to pianos to jazz sections. It’s unsurprising that the hugely varied Opeth (the “growly metal” band who released an entirely acoustic album a few months back) cite them as a huge influence.
So what should you listen to? Well, if your taste is for softer music, then the 1996 Stupid Dream album should be your first port of call, especially the tracks Don’t Hate Me (Radiohead with a touch of jazz) and Piano Lessons. If your taste is more varied, their latest In Absentia is less accessible but far more accomplished, especially Trains and Blackest Eyes.
Give them a listen. They’re different. But you’ll thank me.
Today I’m mostly writing letters to various law firms around Croydon: have about a dozen so far. I’m swiftly discovering that in finding real work, experience is far more important than any shiny qualifications, so I have no idea how successful this is going to be. I’ll let you know.
Oh, and since I mentioned Opeth further up, they’re playing a gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 25th that’s being recorded for a DVD. Tickets are Ł12 (about Ł19 with all the handling charges). I know I’ll be seeing some of you there!
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