Cat No: DELEC CD / LP 045
Release Date: 30th September 1996
(* Extra Track on LP)
At the age of sixteen
Waiting... to be born again
Nothing is what I feel
Waiting... to be disciplined
Telepath Carbon trapped under stone
ESP city - rainy and blue
No sense of time
School out invective, losing my voice
Modem load and failsafe
Power on the highway
Every Home is Wired
Swimming in the circuit
Every home is wired
Inside the vehicle the cold is extreme
This has become a full time career
Dark matter flowing out on to a tape
Crushed like a rose
Produced and mixed by Steven Wilson.
Were Porcupine Tree called something like Camel, Pendragon or even Marillion, they would be deemed unfashionable and universally reviled. Instead, their last single featured heavily in the indie charts, despite the fact that this, their fourth and rather splendid album contains lengthy instrumental progressions, low key vocals and song titles like "Pagan", and "Sleep Of No Dreaming". Plus ca change...
Beneficiaries of a modest critical hoopla, The Porcupine Tree occupy a curious musical netherworld wherein prog rock crosses swords with the scum-stained rifferama of grunge and ambient dance styles. The sepia-tinted cover art and brain-scrambled lyrics almost set The Enid alarm bells ringing, but there is enough divertingly new stuff going on to circumnavigate the more obvious cliches of pomp rockers of yore. The primal dance thump of "Idiot Prayer", the skull rattling percussive backlift and powerful space-rock of "Waiting" and the scratchy, lumpen metal of "Sever" form the hard centre of a powerful album which proves that sharing dressing rooms with the like of Marillion and Hawkwind need not be a stepping stone to self-indulgence and sterility.
Porcupine Tree have managed to break out of the underground progressive rock scene and gain critical acclaim. With their last album, "The Sky Moves Sideways" selling over 20, 000 and heavy touring and increasing presence in the music papers the stage is set for them to become very big indeed.
Porcupine Tree were formed in 1985 when it was the work of one man, Steven Wilson (who also records with Tim Bowness under the No-Man monicker). By December 1993 it had become a live unit with the addition of Colin Edwin (bass), Chris Maitland (drums and percussion) and Richard Barbieri (ex-Japan, keys).
Signify is available as either a CD or as a double vinyl album (which contains an extra track). It manages to defy catagorisation (except that it is truly progressive in the fact that they don't sound like anyone else) as it mixes ambient, hard rock, instrumental and spacey themes. There are some very strong songs such as "Waiting" (which was an indie hit single earlier in the year) and "Sever". However, there are other times when the music drifts and hangs together before drifting away.
It is a wonderful album which can only build on their previous success. You will be hearing a lot about these guys in the next few months. You have been warned.
The most accomplished work yet from this band. Subtly mesmerising and structurally flamboyant they continue to weave ambient almost rock-like music into shapeless feelings and fleeting glances of both the past before my existence and the future beyond it.
Porcupine Tree are another outfit that's really come of age with their latest release. Bornlivedie sets the die in a Hawkwind meets Art Of Noise vein followed closely by the title track Signify. Signify itself is a single cut of inspired magic that awaits in the wings for an opportunity to rise above the TOTP crass currently riding high on a sea of shit. hopefully we won't have to wait long for a re-mix single. I've seen the future and Bruce Springsteen is an old grottbag. Porcupine Tree are blowing out candles on Mick Hucknall's grave and me and a generation of post millenium kids are re-born again just in time to bring in the dawn of a new golden age.
Panic Rating: 98%
Porcupine Tree, Mark Radcliffe favourites and companions of Linton Samuel Dawson, are back with more of their progressive / ambient vibes, following on from underground classics like Up The Downstair and The Sky Moves Sideways. Not following any recognised style, their stuff is more like variations on several themes, Signify being no exception.
After a fairly weak beginning it gets better and better. Waiting, the single, is pure Tree - melodic yet mental, with Steve Wilson's trademark innocent but macabre vocals. Idiot Prayer, Intermediate Jesus, and the dreamy ill temper of Dark Matter confound, with pounding basslines and Wilson's unparalleled guitar style that glides effortlessly between Dave Gilmour and Steve Hillage.
Ozric Tentacles? Ozric Schmentacles.
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