Porcupine Tree, Prog and the MSM

Even the indie-obsessed BBC has noticed Porcupine Tree’s chart success

Observant chart watchers may have noticed an unfamiliar – and unusual – name in the UK top 30 album chart this week.

Among a flurry of new entries from Peter Andre, Jay-Z, Pixie Lott and David Gray is an album by a band that has been around longer than any of them: Porcupine Tree.

Porcupine who?

Yes, Porcupine Tree’s new album, “The Incident”, has charted at No 23, in the same week as Muse, who despite being in the NME are proggier than a very prog thing, are sitting at No 1.

Of course, some people are never happy…

Bad news: the article is a remix of the usual “prog’s back!” non-story and, worse, SW doesn’t reject the label this time.

Personally I thought Steve Wilson’s “we’re not prog” was always rather silly, and my opinions of genre gerrymanderers who make a distinction between “progressive” (i.e. music they like) and “prog” (i.e. music they don’t) is well-documented. I’m not interested in reopening that argument yet again. Post self-justifying rants in the comments and I will track you down and force you to listen to Arena…

As for the album itself, it’s certainly one of those that takes quite a few listens to get into.

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4 Responses to Porcupine Tree, Prog and the MSM

  1. this also being the same week Genesis is listed on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in the USA).

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve been a PT fan since the mid 90′s; the debate over the “prog” label has always struck me as irrelevant and a waste of time, especially when we get into “neo-prog”, “prog-metal”, etc.
    For me the irony of the new album is that after one listen, I liked it and my appreciation has grown the more I listen. On the other hand, FoaBP took me many listens to appreciate; if it had been released by any other band, I probably would have stopped listening to it. After seeing it performed live, my opinion completely changed – I couldn’t stop listening to it.

  3. Greg Spawton says:

    I think even Radiohead have been smoked out with an interview for Classic Prog in the next issue. They’re also going to be covering Oceansize soon; I think they’ve also been ‘Prog-Deniers’ in the past.

  4. beth says:

    I only have one Oceansize album, but I would say that prog or progressive spring to mind when I listen to it :-)