Porcupine Tree
The Sky Moves Sideways


4.5
superb

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (93 Reviews)
November 21st, 2013 | 359 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Poetic lyrics and fantastic musicianship galore.

Perhaps one of the greatest qualities of Porcupine Tree is that the band has always had a way of showing their influences with grace. Out of all of the band's albums in their vast discography, The Sky Moves Sideways is the album that presents the Pink Floyd influence the most. Granted there are a few moments on this record where one could literally confuse the two bands, there is no better band to be influenced by in the genre of progressive music. The record never fails to display staggering amounts of talent and finesse that many bands of the genre could only dream of duplicating. The record is brooding, trippy and has its fair share of moments that should have been recognized by the music industry a lot more than it did.

As for those moments where one could confuse the two bands, most of those moments actually happen in the title track which is split up into two tracks as the beginning and closing track just like Wish You Were Here. The way the guitar is played in the middle of Phase one really brings to mind Pink Floyd because of the very delicate way Steve Wilson strums away it's soothing riff. This is not a bad thing by any means, but it's worth mentioning due to the fact that this could turn some people off. Thankfully, it's not a clone of Shine on you Crazy Diamond because most of it sounds like a one of a kind song. It's the perfect combination of electronica, atmosphere, and progressive rock that evokes an incredible sensation of impending doom especially in Phase one. The last couple minutes of phase one are breathtakingly cinematic as Wilson plays an acoustic guitar riff over some somber atmosphere. Phase two features more of the same, but switches things up with soothing females vocalizing and a totally different more distorted sound to the guitar. Trust me, you will be floored by these roughly 34 minutes of music alone.

Though the title track takes up more of the album's running time, make no mistake that the tracks in the middle of the record share some stunning qualities as well. "Stars Die" is achingly beautiful and a brilliant follow to phase one of the title track. The song simply states the cold hard fact that whatever goes up has to come down eventually whether it be people, buildings or stars. There is no better way to deliver a message of living for today than incredibly somber textures and lovely vocal harmonies. All of these elements carry over into "The Moon Touches your Shoulder" and the song is the definition of poetry in motion. There is no way of telling what this song could possibly be about and it is the closest song to poetic nonsense on the whole record. It also boasts another stunning combination of psychedelic elements and and a somber vibe. The acoustic guitar solo in the middle is one of the most beautiful moments on the record

Every song on this record possesses amazing qualities that distinguishes each of them from the other, but the song that stands high above all of them is "Dislocated Day." There are not many songs in Porcupine Tree's career that sound even remotely like it and and it is a masterpiece. To a lesser extent, this is another example of a song being poetic nonsense. The song is quite cryptic and Wilson's delivery of these lyrics is incredibly well done and seductive.The band's musicianship really soars on "Dislocated Day" and Wilson's guitar riff defines funky and Chris Maitland's drumming performance is a real stunner. Colin Edwin's bass also shines through which is not very common for the instrument.

The Sky Moves Sideways may not be as impressive or affecting as its successor and even its predecessor, but it still it a testament of Porcupine Tree really developing a name for themselves in the music industry. Despite moments of not having it's own sound and one lackluster interlude before phase two of the title track, the record is another shining example of Porcupine Tree's ability to evoke moments of genuine emotion and show remarkable musicianship.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


11826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I did it! The LP's are done. As always, any criticism is more than welcome guys.

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

Ecnalzen
November 21st 2013


6825 Comments


Woo hoo!

Necrotica
November 21st 2013


10137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuckyeah, great album :D I'll read this tonight :}

Tyrannic
November 21st 2013


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wish i could have this album again, i had to give it away to a friend without saving it (not a joke)

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


11826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dude terrible decision haha

Can't wait to see what you think of it man!

Ecal how's that In Absentia listening going?

Ecnalzen
November 21st 2013


6825 Comments


Uhhhh.... I still know those three songs...

Trying to give the stuff I have bought recently some more listening time for right now. I will dive into the recs I have got recently soon after.

Gonna give this a read.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


21618 Comments


Amazing album. Best PT for me with Up the Downstair just behind.

Will read the review later.

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


11826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool Ecal what you buy?

Signify is best for me Jamie but pretty solid favorite if you ask me.

Ecnalzen
November 21st 2013


6825 Comments


Here be some feedback!

"The way the guitar is played in the middle of Phase one really brings to mind Pink Floyd because of the very delicate way Steve Wilson strums away it's soothing guitar riff."
You use guitar twice here. You could take 'guitar' out the second time, and I think the sentence would still work.

"The song is a perfect combination of electronia"
Missing a 'c' in electronica. Also, you just said 'song' at the end of the sentence right before this, so you might just say 'It's a perfect combination of electronica' to avoid some repetition between the two.

"Thankfully, the song is not a clone of Shine on you Crazy Diamond because most of it sounds like a one of a kind song."
Same here. You could replace 'the song' with 'it's', just mention the actual song name since you haven't yet, or say 'title track'. It's whatevs.

"The song is a perfect combination of electronia, atmosphere, and progressive rock it evokes an incredible sensation of impending doom especially in Phase one."
There's a couple things you could do with this. You actually have two separate sentences going on and jammed them together.
Maybe this (btw, you forgot the 'c' in electronica again): "The song is such a perfect combination of electronica, atmosphere, and progressive rock that it evokes an incredible sensation of impending doom, especially in Phase One."
Or you could use a semicolon between 'rock' and 'it' and leave it the way it was.

If it's something you agree with me on, you might work on not repeating the same words over. It gets a little repetitive for the reader.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


11826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I kinda noticed I repeated my words in this a little so I'll try to change them. Thanks for pointing
that out!

Alright I took your suggestions into account and changed that up Ecal.

Ecnalzen
November 21st 2013


6825 Comments


But yeah, overall good writing here!

Well, I picked up these in the last couple months:
Fair to Midland - Arrows and Anchors
Pirates of the Caribbean 1&2, and the first LOTR scores
A Hope for Home - Realis
Alter Bridge - Fortress
Appleseed Cast - Peregrine
10 Years - Autumn Effect (as you already know)
The Ocean - Pelagial

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2013


11826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ahhhhh LOTR you can't go wrong with that musical score. I gotta try more of Fair to Midland cause I've only heard Fables but it's pretty great.

Ecnalzen
November 21st 2013


6825 Comments


That's what I have heard. We got a used copy where I work, and I got it for 6 bucks. Figured I couldn't really pass that up.

I like what I have heard from Arrows so far. It seems pretty close or on par with Fables.

KILL
November 21st 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best album ever

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Rowan5215
November 21st 2013


28916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

WYWH >

Digging: Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

Necrotica
November 21st 2013


10137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ I agree, although both are awesome

KILL
November 21st 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i said best album ever sorry

Rowan5215
November 21st 2013


28916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But great review mongi bro

Rowan5215
November 21st 2013


28916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

FiveLeavesLeft agrees with me KILL, two versus one

KILL
November 21st 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree with all



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