bITS 'N CHUNKS
Here we are again with another jam. My fascination with Porcupine Tree would best be explained with my fascination with the progressive genre in general. To be blunt, progressive rock & metal is made for writing. It's populated with speculative fiction dorks. I mean, look at Rush. Look at Yes. Math geeks writing songs about Lord of the Rings.
Don't get me wrong, metal in general does that as well (especially when you start getting in the Dio realms) but with prog it's...different. Every ounce of the music from vocals to drum beats is contributing towards the theme of the song. It's complex because it can be. Someone is trying to tell you a story. Porcupine Tree breaks off this a little by being a lot more personal and introverted. When someone asks me about them, I call it good time depression music because it IS. Songs about isolation and misery. Hey, I write about alienation and misery! Yes, "Way Out of Here" has made my soul cry and hurried me along on several stories. One of my first long form non-fanfic stories contains a direct reference to the first verse of the song and I am not embarrassed but I will not show you (probably). Please check it out.
I encourage you to hear the full song. As for Blank Planet itself, my actual introduction to PT was In Absentia, an entire concept album about...a serial killer! Yeah. It's probably their most commercial record too. That was so odd that it sparked my imagination. Blank Planet now is probably a little dated in that it deals mostly with man's battles against technology and, to an extent, himself. That theme aside, what resonates with me about this album is its plain language. The music is there and the textures are there but the language is actually fairly blunt. It helps me not write flowery words for the sake of writing them -- it says, "get to the goddamn point, E". The swells and climax of "Anesthetize" are so damn cathartic. I hear this whole album in my head a lot. It's interesting because the brain of PT, Steve Wilson, said this album was inspired by Bret Easton Ellis. Interesting because I don't really care for Ellis to put it politely. That might be why, admittedly, some sections of this album make me cringe. Especially when Steven starts shaking his fist at the kids.
Sadly, Porcupine Tree is over but Steve Wilson is still trying to make you feel the ennui in his kind of folky solo career. Which is somehow more literary than PT. Check that out too. If you're into fables and fairy tales about death it's right up your alley.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...