Porcupine Tree: Octane Twisted

Landmark prog oeuvre recorded live in Chicago.

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With Wilson, Barbieri and co pursuing alternative successes, this run-through of Porcupine Tree’s latest album – plus additional tracks – recalls the enigmatic hub they sprang from.

The Incident, this affirms, was made to be performed/listened to in its entirety. The likes of Time Flies here are stunning – a sharply rousing acoustic base crescendos tantalisingly as electric lines are layered on, with complex drumming ad-libs propelling everything. Just when you think you’re being lulled into pretty passages (see the sublime rendition of The Seance), menacing metal chords and electronics haul you down new paths.

In an era when many people only listen to commercial gumpf that’s been processed so much that barely any ‘music’ remains, this is the kind of live record you want to thrust around, crying, “Behold the musicality and intrigue!” Or something slightly less flamboyant… A beautiful, vital taste of a compelling live act.

Polly Glass
Features Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is features editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.