All my friends question the band’s name. They’ve been silly enough to call them “Country", “Emo" or even “Black Metal". Rest assured, those friends are musically retarded, but Porcupine Tree are one of modern music’s most unique bands. It all began back in 1988 with the Tree’s mastermind Steven Wilson. The band’s been going strong for a quite a long time now, Churning out progressive gems like The Sky Moves Sideways
back in 1995 to a more modern rock sound with Ligthbulb Sun
and In Absentia
. Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
documents the years from when Porcupine Tree was a one man psychedelic project to a full fledged pretentious, progressive band. It’s probably the best introduction a fan of Deadwing
or In Absentia
will get, besides a time machine and keys to Porcupine Tree’s studio.
Spanning through 6 years of Porcupine Tree’s time on Earth, the album doesn’t fail to deliver a fast variety, showing various experimentation as well as natural evolution. Experimentation? Try Voyage 34
, Porcupine Tree’s first attempt at a big, pretentious magnum opus
. Ooooh it didn’t go too well. You can already feel the Pink Floyd influence looming over in Radioactive Toys
judging by the David Gilmour mimicry both vocally and guitar-wise, Voyage 34 voyages into the seas of
Full Blown Rip-off
by impersonating Another Brick in the Wall part 1
. The loses its structure as it noodles around for another 8 or 10 minutes as a Twilight Zonesque narrator tells the fragmented story of some guy’s bad acid trip. He’ll never buy from that dealer again. Experimentation is essentially what Porcupine Tree’s first album On the Sunday of Life.....
was, which the first four songs on here are from. There’s a fine line between line between “Experimentation" and “What the fu
ck is this guy doing?" crossed, blurred and desecrated on the album, there’s only 6 actual songs on it out of the 20 or so litter. This compilation helps cut the crap, so to speak. The spacey ambience experienced in Voyage 34 gleams throughout the rest of the Tree’s career as shown on Stars Die...
, structured better to make songs like the monstrous The Sky Moves Sideways - phase one
Two primary seeds are planted in Porcupine Tree’s fertile soil by the production: Ambient Eggplant and Pop Potato. Songs like Synthesia
(oh Goodness the extended version!) deliver catchy pop hooks whilst delicately layered with atmospheric sounds. The Sky Moves Sideways is an epic that sinks its teeth into the listener and whisks allure ambience into him. The whimsical Nine Cats
openly shows the melodies and pop sensibilities of Porcupine Tree (or just Wilson, as it was only him at the time) through the crisp acoustic guitar and Wilson’s delicate voice. The mixtures of eggplants and potatoes among other things sometimes catches one off guard, but how can you describe Porcupine Tree as heard in Stars Die...
? Other than diverse, progressive or ripe with sexual connotations (oh don’t ask...), Steve Wilson suggests simply “Porcupine Tree music". Big help.
Disc 2 focuses on the albums The Sky moves Sideways
(both recommended) and all the b-sides and rare goodies that happened in between. Oh boy, Porcupine Tree sure know how to make b-sides and rare goodies. They’re in fact better than the couple of rather generic, forgettable and pointless songs on this compilation. The psychedelic pop of Men of Wood
that hints to an embryonic Porcupine Tree, the ghostly Stars Die
, the new eclectic mix of The Sound of No-one Listening
, any Porcupine Tree fan should pick this up for the great relatively inaccessible stuff on this collection (that includes their early albums, pretty hard to find). Once these era’s of varied, experimental and pretentious music reach you, you’ll be hooked! Or utterly disgusted... I can guarantee either one based on your coolness. But one question remains about Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997
, why did those slackers misspell Delirium?
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997-------------> 4 stars
Oh you wanted me to answer the question, because the record label they were on was run by a bunch of stoners hoo kant spel forr shet an spelld delerium insted of delirium. kthxbai.