Porcupine Tree's latest has another set of craftily written, colourfully produced songs. There's not much new ground being trod here in their overall style, relative to their last two - we still have the layered vocal-harmony choruses, spacy ambient colouring and and studio polish. However it's strong all the way through and full of ideas.
"Heartattack in a Layby" is a particularly beautiful but disturbing song, building up to a evocative web of interwoven vocal lines. "Lips of Ashes" is backed by a glittering curtain of spangly guitars and keyboard sounds. The infectiously catchy "The Sound of Muzak" is a scathing rant against the music industry, even more bitter and pessimistic than "Four Chords that Made a Millon" from their previous album. "Gravity Eyelids" is so laid back it makes me yawn, which was probably its intention. ".3" has the familiar laid back, Floyd-like feel, but not as powerful as "Russia on Ice" was.
Steven Wilson is clearly fond of metal, as shown by some heavy riffing in a lot of the songs, for example on "Blackest Eyes" and the dark instrumental "Wedding Nails". "The Creator has a Mastertape" has a driving energy with a fast bassline and headbanging rhythm guitar.
Yay! I'm seeing them live in November!
October 16, 2003