Album 0065: Porcupine Tree – The Sky Moves Sideways

Release Date: 1995
Genre: Progressive/Psychedelic Rock

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

1. The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 1:

    I. The Colour Of Air
    II. I Find That I’m Not Here
    III. Wire The Drum
    IV. Spinal Circus (18:39)

2. Dislocated Day (05:24)
3. Moon Touches Your Shoulder (05:41)
4. Prepare Yourself (01:59)
5. The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 2:
    I. Is… Not
    II. Off The Map (16:49)

DISC TWO

1. The Sky Moves Sideways (alternate version) (34:43)
2. Stars Die (05:02)
3. Moonloop (Improvisation) (16:18)
4. Moonloop (Coda) (04:53)
5. Men Of Wood (03:36)

Total Length: 01:53:02

The Sky Moves Sideways is a big track that takes some getting used to, but once you understand all the pieces the main song comes into focus. The first section, The Colour Of Air, is a great intro part, it just works very well in setting the mood and tone. I Find That I’m Not Here brings in the first set of vocals, and is almost Pink Floyd-esque honestly, but it is definitely Steven Wilson’s own bag. It really sticks with you. Wire The Drum changes the mood with more of an electronica feel and a bass that drives forward the melody. Spinal Circus is a nice soft ending to Phase 1.

Dislocated Day is a pretty neat, more rock based track. The chorus is memorable, and the percussion is very neat. I really don’t like the harsh feel it sometimes has though, or the sample at the end. Moon Touches Your Shoulder is sort of hypnotic, and yet it really doesn’t interest me. I do enjoy the production on it though. Prepare Yourself is a nice, short atmospheric piece. The previous track had gotten a bit heavy by the end, so this track exists to prepare you for Phase 2.

Is… Not certainly starts off sounding like Pink Floyd again, but also again becomes its own thing with creepy female vocals and Eastern-tinged instrumental parts. Off The Map begins with an earlier section of the song partially played backwards, and concludes this whole big piece with some neat guitar solos and an atmospheric outro. The alternate version of The Sky Moves Sideways is just the two phases put together, as I assume it originally way meant to be. It is slightly shorter than the two parts separated, and has some differences. The vocals have less effects on them, and some instruments are different.

Stars Die is a song I don’t fully understand. It certainly feels like a Porcupine Tree song, but it really doesn’t do much for me or stick with me. I do like that it references the title track a little bit. Moonloop (Improvisation) and Moonloop (Coda) make up one very long track. It kind of meanders a bit, but the ending is strong. Unlike the title track though, this song isn’t very memorable to me. Men Of Wood is sort of a bonus track, and it’s a nice short song but just like Stars Die I just don’t understand it.

This album is a pretty cool experience to listen to, but it does highlight a few things I don’t like about Porcupine Tree. One thing is the multitude and variety of the same songs. Rerecordings are one thing, but these different versions will have very minuscule differences and it eventually becomes tough trying to figure out what is different, or if I’m missing something else. I also am not too fond of the psychedelic-ness that is very present on here. It can work sometimes, but like I said if it doesn’t have memorable melodies or parts then at some point it starts to feel like a waste of time.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

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