It took over a decade, but Porcupine Tree has done it again: the band released a new album, Closure/Continuation, just shy of two weeks ago on June 24. It’s taken me about as long to single out a track because they all rate HIGH on the Jam meter. This one, “Love in the Past Tense,” is the last song on the album, and I have a thing for endings.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say I’ve heard nothing but this album since it was released, feeling frustrated one day or another in that time, because it’s not on Porcupine Tree’s official Bandcamp yet.
I must have this in hi-res! I need the FLAC files, or the WAVs (for those who live dangerously, without metadata) because this isn’t merely the band’s first full-length release in thirteen years; it’s also a showcase for the band’s evolution. This is Porcupine Tree in 2022 and it’s glorious.
The last time we got a studio album from PT was in 2009, when the band released The Incident. I actually got to see PT on the North American leg of the tour, but it was bittersweet. I was sad because it would be the last tour — for a while, anyway — and happy because I was there to see it.
Now, Porcupine Tree is back. I would say it’s like the band never left, but that’s wrong. That would mean the band was static, learning nothing in its time away. Closure/Continuation is the culmination of the band members’ individual projects. I’m referring to Steven Wilson’s solo albums, specifically, because I’m familiar with these more than those of Richard Barbieri and Gavin Harrison.
But they all bring back what made them great, while adding to the whole in equal parts as composers and musicians. Harrison’s drums are as raucous as ever! Babieri’s synths are airy and wide, the perfect strata of sound. And Steven Wilson’s musical vision is intact but broader. The frontman’s aversion to genre is certainly here; Porcupine Tree was just finally mature enough to let it in.
Cue the album and listen to the best music of the aughts — made better by the messy decade that followed. Let track two, “Of The New Day,” convince you it’s 2006 again, and then brace yourself for the last three tracks.