Porcupine Tree
Up the Downstair


4.0
excellent

Review

by KILL USER (57 Reviews)
October 4th, 2012 | 625 replies | 13,571 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You don't need sex under LSD

20 of 26 thought this review was well written

At this point in time Porcupine Tree was a one man band, Steven Wilson had already created his first record "On the Sunday of Life" which succeeded but also failed in many ways, but it was a necessary stepping stone towards success. While the previous album took a more playful and whimsical approach, Up the Downstair is much maturer record and vast step up from it's predecessor in every way possible. The overall sound is substantially more interesting, fusing elements of progressive, psychedelic and space rock, with britpop and even techno, to create a unique and diverse soundscape. From the get go the album sets a dreamy atmosphere, the opening lines of What You Are Listening To set the tone for the rest of the psychedelic drug influenced tunes. The second track Synesthesia instantly impresses with it's unbelievably catchy melody and upbeat britpop influenced drive. Synesthesia is perhaps the single most upbeat song on the album, it has a real effervescent quality about it, but it's certainly not the most memorable, the longer more ambient tracks are the real gems. The title track is perhaps the greatest example, easily being one of the bands best songs, it successfully combines techno beats with spacey textures. The two final tracks are similar in this regard too, while Fadeaway is a much moodier piece containing some of the best melodies the band has ever produced. But even the more rocking tracks such as Not Beautiful Anymore retain the mood of the epic tracks.

While Steven Wilson may be a massive bellend, there is no denying his chops, his talent especially shines through on this record, him being the sole songwriter and playing the majority of the instruments. His guitar work especially is extremely impressive and at the top of it's game on this record, his heavily Gilmour inspired leads blend magnificently with the dark brooding rhythm section. His lyrical output is also vastly superior to his later conceptual offerings. The production is also more pleasing than the bands later outputs, being less harsh and overblown which gives the subtle samples, synths and instruments room to breathe.

Porcupine Tree simply were a better band before they decided to focus on a more metal orientated, less experimental style, their psychedelic sound was better realised, especially on here and the following album "The Sky Moves Sideways". Even if you've heard their later works and you found them unimpressive this is worth giving a shot, as it bares hardly any resemblance to their later albums. Up the Downstair remains the most underrated and overlooked album in their discography and is their first truly great album and is ultimately among their very best.



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user ratings (571)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
What you are listening to are musicians performing psychedelic music...

whatduffhuck7 (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



50293 Comments


Promote this man

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Just Got Back from the Discomfort

KILL
October 4th 2012



71732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this needed to be said and i tried to be more like sowing on this review so can i be staff or

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

KILL
October 4th 2012



71732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy fuck trebor youve done it again you are faster than sonic!

breakingthefragile
October 4th 2012



2956 Comments


KILL I never figured you for a Porcupine Tree fan, but hey, some of the best prog around so fuck yeah. m/

Digging: Cathedrals - Cathedrals EP

KILL
October 4th 2012



71732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but yea i actually tried on this review it took me longer than half an hour tell me if it sucks plz (^ー^)ノ

tarkus
October 4th 2012



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

m/ as fuck wouldve done this forever ago if i had realized it didnt have one

breakingthefragile
October 4th 2012



2956 Comments


Ya dun good dude. Ya dun good. Pos.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



15995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice album, nice review and ye he is a bellend

Digging: Hominido - Estirpe Litica

Evreaia
October 4th 2012



4031 Comments


pos'd

Digging: Dornenreich - Freiheit

tarkus
October 4th 2012



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gonna jam this after surrealistic pillow ends

KILL
October 4th 2012



71732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks dudes

god that guitar on fadeaway gives me goosebumps

johnnydeking29
October 4th 2012



9024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A serious KILL review??????
Pos'd, this rules

The title track is perhaps the greatest example, easily being one of the bands best songs

I disagree hard, but w/e

Digging: Envy - A Dead Sinking Story

johnnydeking29
October 4th 2012



9024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And yeah, Fadeaway is amazing, Burning Sky+Small Fish rulez face

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



15995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

passionate kill reviews with lots of swearing and jokes about genesis fans using opera glasses > serious kill reviews, still posd tho

YoYoMancuso
October 4th 2012



11076 Comments


This is a great review, i like how it's more serious than your others. pos


Lightbulb Sun is probably their best but this is up there

KILL
October 4th 2012



71732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea you are prob right menawati but it didnt feel right with this kind of record

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



15995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ye tru

tarkus
October 4th 2012



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

when i take my first true psychedelic drugs this will be jammin hard

TheNotrap
October 4th 2012



8065 Comments


Need to check this band properly, only know some songs.
Have a pos.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



15995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

signify maybe my pt fave atm, cant stop listening to idiot prayer while im at work



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