Porcupine Tree break their 12-year-long silence
Porcupine Tree is a name every fan of progressive rock has heard, and at least half of them love. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but just a little.
Formed by Steven Wilson in 1987, the band has gifted us with many timeless progressive rock records like Deadwing, Fear of a Blank Planet, In Absentia and The Sky Moves Sideways to name a few. Porcupine Tree is all about masterful songwriting, especially the way they incorporate acoustic sections into their progressive rock and progressive metal songs.
Recently, until now that is, the band was on hiatus because Wilson felt that they had explored everything possible with their chemistry, and wanted to cover new grounds. Mostly electronica, as it had turned out. However, he has now decided that he's ready to get back into progressive rock, and Porcupine Tree, with a fresh perspective and new found inspiration.
Released on November 1, their new single "Harridan" is a throwback to the Fear of a Blank Planet musical style, with the dampened, explosive lead guitar riffage. Some techniques from Wilson's post-PT solo works are also prominent, like the aggressive bassline and poppy chorus. An eight-minute long track with unconventional structure, the dynamics are fleshed out in the song distinctly between acoustic and lead-driven sections.
Gavin Harrison's ornate drum grooves and fills keep the song tight, driving the flow just right. I do miss Colin Edwin; his bouncy bass lines were one of the definitive traits of the band's sound, and I'd take it over the crunchy and curt bass in "Harridan" every time.
Personally, I love the clean post-chorus the most about this track. The mournful words, crooned over the extended chord progression, make it quite touching.
The band has also announced a new album to be released in June 2022, titled Closure/Continuation. Judging from the name, the reunion probably won't be a one-record get-together. "Harridan" was based on material written years ago, and the band has announced that other old drafts will get the same treatment. But the seven-month delay until the release of the record also gives hope for completely new tracks.
In the track list teased on Porcupine Tree's official website, there are seven entries with "Harridan" being the first and the other six veiled behind question marks. Something to note is that the tracks are numbered as
"Two, two." And so on.
I sense a concept album coming but only time can tell.
Sabih Safwat is a proud prog snob. Suggest him artists at firstname.lastname@example.org