Album Review: Porcupine Tree – The Incident

January 25, 2010

Title: The Incident
Artist: Porcupine Tree
Label: Roadrunner
Released: Out Now
In one word: Segmentary

Listening to this record at 1am in a dark room only lit by a laptop with a broken F key (thank uck or cut and paste!) seems almost apt. Like my bedroom, the music of Porcupine Tree is dark and gloomy as you’d come to expect from these experimental virtuosos.

And in relation to my comparison of my broken keyboard there’s a lot of references to broken relationships and scenarios; Steven Wilson once described his music as an exorcism of his negative emotions and The Incident goes along similar lines.

The way I found out about Porcupine Tree could be considered a mildly amusing anecdote in which I met a drunken tramp in an ASDA car-park, the conversation was something like this:
Drunken Tramp in Supermarket Car-park: “Allright! I’m a crazy alcoholic, you look like you’re into prog!”
Me: “Nae really”
Drunken Tramp in Supermarket Car-park: “My favourite band are Porcupine Tree, you should listen to ‘em!”

So I did.

The Incident has that usual slick and big production quality that feels part theatrical with elements of horror, pop and a lot of sonic art theory involved, I’m out of my depth here but I can hear all the parts together.

What I don’t quite understand is why a 55 minute piece was cut into small chunks, I assume it’s for ease of listening and consumer contentment but I’d rather the whole thing in one awkward arty chunk – how it was written and how it should be listened to, or am I just being awkward?

All in all I’d now consider myself a Porcupine Tree fan. They make genuinely interesting art that appears to be without ego and is full of heart and pure emotion.


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