Wednesday, February 17, 2010

He dead!

I'm back.

 Ctrl + Click this image to play the music that accompanies my triumphant return to a blog that 3 people read!

I used to do a lot of set-it-and-forget-it type of stuff at work. You know --- waiting for models to run, waiting for data to load, sending interns to find a basement that doesn't exist, etc., and I could drift away into writing about music and why I rule at everything. These days, all the work I'm doing requires my full attention, which makes the government run more smoothly day fly by, but it's killed my blog.

I'm not getting dumber, I just haven't had any free time.

Anyhow, let's get back to what TLA is about: music reviews. And my two cents. Dot com.

Deadwing was recorded entirely while brooding, on the banks of a lake, 100 years ago.

At Christmas, my brother-in-law gave me the Porcupine Tree album "Deadwing." I first found out about Porcupine Tree on guitar nerd forums, where my fellow guitar nerds were dissecting the band's guitar tone. So I YouTube'd some stuff and got really interested, because their riffs were tight. Not a euphemism.

The album is progressive rock, which, for the uninitiated, is best explained by this excellent article by Cracked, which states:

There is no clear definition of progressive rock, as it is not bounded by convention, structure, tradition or common sense. Progressive rock is like the anti-socialite of music; there are no rules or restrictions.
However, progressive rock bands have typically featured:
  • Extremely skilled guitarists, drummers, bassists and keyboardists
  • Okay singers
  • Huge egos
  • Tons of drugspiration
  • No sense of when to stop a song
Be sure to click through to that Cracked article. They even have a chart that plots prog rock album covers on a scale from "Dongs" to "Butts."

Porcupine Tree is smack-dab in the middle of Pink Floyd and Tool on the progressive rock continuum. I have to stop writing about prog rock now, because I would be repeating the Cracked article, which had me LMFAO.

On Deadwing, the first thing that stands out is the riffage. We are talking really bad ass riffs, the kind that play in your head when you get home from work before your wife and you imagine your house is a scene from an action thriller and you work your way through the house pwning imaginary henchman with various made up karate moves.

This has nothing to do with prog rock, Porcupine Tree, or house karate. I just felt like I needed a picture here.

The next thing I noticed was that it's not so far out there that non-music-nerds won't run from it. It's accessible, because Porcupine Tree don't get any of their progressiveness© from gimmick. Everything they do that pulls you in is just straight up good --- no zoo animal noises, no screaming, no playing guitar with power drills - just good ass music.

After my embarrassing gush over a band that was ALL gimmick (which I won't delete, because it's as funny as it is embarrassing), it's refreshing to get excited about a band that gives you the "holy shit!" with zero gimmick.

It's good to listen to all in one shot, as with most prog rock albums. Next time you have to go on a road trip or drive a ways alone, download this album and prepare to be a big Porcupine Tree fan.

I will be dropping more blog science on you TOMORROW!

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