Heavy Rewind – The Sky Moves Sideways

It's honestly a wonder that I haven't written about this album sooner. It contains everything I love, both within its music and along its meta-narrative. The Sky Moves Sideways was released three time: once in Europe, once in America and once as a remaster. Each album contains different versions of a proto-drone track, versions which are unique to it and were produced using an original 40 minute recording of a live band. It contains Gavin Harrison with Porcupine Tree working on early material (on the re-master), one of my all time favorite musicians. And, most of all, it's the turning point between Porcupine Tree as just Steven Wilson and their conception as a band. Thus, it contains the psychedelia of his earlier works while still being recognizable as an album. It has a strange accessibility to it alongside some truly weird and disconcerting elements.

The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness

Veteran bands releasing new albums is always a risky proposition. The emotional responses to such albums quickly fork, as we are confronted with wide decision trees: should we take each album as it comes or embed them into the grander, historical context of the band's discography? Are we obligated to be "harder" on these albums or should our familiarity with the band and their past achievements mollify our criticisms? These, and many more, make listening to such albums a complicated task. This trepidation is even further bolstered if the band's latest release a wildly successful experiment, a popular divergence from their established norm. It adds a host of new data points to the already intricate equation, questions revolving around momentu, thoroughness and expectations. This is the full gamut of consideration one must take in mind when approach The Pineapple Thief's Your Wilderness. Not only have these guys been around for a substantial amount of time, but their last album, Magnolia, was a wonderfully angry, often bright, departure from their established sound. What then, should one expect when playing this new album? And, should these expectations be dashed, what should be the listener's reactions? Thankfully, Your Wilderness shouldn't leave too many of those expectations dashed in the open minded listener. It's by no means a sequel to Magnolia as its tone returns to the fundamental hues that have always made up The Pineapple Thief's pallette, namely melancholy, resignation and a silent, tenacious anger that runs underneath it all.