Porcupine Tree In Abesentia
J. Gordon
8/25/2002 9:27:58 AM

Music rarely takes chances these days. At least, that’s what I thought until I heard Porcupine Tree’s latest, In Abesentia. It’s no wonder this band has a huge underground following in the UK. They’re one of those bands like London Suede or Ruby or Curve…too cool for America to get a clue. And unfortunately, few Americans ever do. You keep expecting that soon they’ll be big enough to play stadiums and instead they seem to fade away to nothing.

Let’s hope that’s not the fate of Porcupine Tree. Porcupine Tree, who started out in London in 1987, take the best loopy elements of electronica and 90s techno as a backbone, and flesh it out with comfortable, adept vocal harmonies, unexpected surges in volume, moments of chilling hard rock and layers and layers of mood and the swirling lushness of dreams from which you cannot awake. Their latest CD, In Abesentia, soon to be released in the US on Lava/Atlantic, is one of those CDs you simply can’t let go of: It will travel in your car and cause you to sit alone in dark garages because you can’t bear to turn their songs off before they’re over (which can be a while; most songs are longer than five minutes, and the super-cool “Gravity Eyelids” is just four seconds shy of eight). It will play in your home and force you to let the machine get the phone because you can’t bear its interruption. It will stick in your subconscious and color every thought, loop in the background of every conversation. In fact, In Abesentia could be a downright problem, muddling up your entire personal and professional life from the impact of its greatness. Finally, you’re going to be broke seeking out every past CD and EP on overseas music sites because you will have no choice but to have them all.

Like me.

Be forewarned.


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