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By adhering to no one particular genre and thinking in terms of complete albums, the U.K.’s Porcupine Tree have been mostly viewed as a progressive rock band that should’ve come of age in the ‘70s. And while that description is not without validity, it shortchanges the band’s range of influences that encompass far more than the dexterous ambitions of bands three decades past. Certainly the 12-minute “Arriving Somewhere But Here” has its roots in the slow-building mechanisms of Pink Floyd, but just as clearly, the band embraces the tonalities of modern day alt-rock and the sublime harmonies of, say, Alice in Chains, without sacrificing their own identity. “Lazarus” is practically a pop song with its concise melodic contours. Elsewhere, the textures shift from spacey ambient (Sigur Ros re-born in England) to moody singer/songwriter fare without losing the cohesion of the overall album. Founder Steven Wilson began Porcupine Tree as an imaginary band with a storied rock history not unlike Spinal Tap. But he’s since been busy, compiling an impressive body of work that is no joke.


Formed: 1987 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though he initially came to wider attention (at least in the U.K.) with No-Man, his long-running collaboration with Tim Bowness throughout the '90s, singer/guitarist Steven Wilson gained as much of a reputation for Porcupine Tree. Embracing and exploring prog rock inspirations while always keeping an ear out for newer musical connections, thus sidestepping the pointless revivalism of many of the band's peers, Porcupine Tree has created some noteworthy albums and songs over the years, continuing full-strength...
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Deadwing, Porcupine Tree
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