Sunday, 15 November 2009

If one of Wilson’s many efforts were to suffer from the negative backlash of hype, Insurgentes was it. Promising guest appearances, shifts in stylism and a reflective documentary meant much to live up to, and upon listening to the single “Harmony Korine”, labelling the record a ‘flop’ wasn’t out of question if very arbitrary.

Everything from the first and last track on Insurgentes confirms that Wilson is really out of his progy comfort zone. No longer are you hearing swaths of the late 60’s with a specific nod to the Floyd but computer sequencing, reflecting a desire to get off the traditional progressive hovercraft, and more importantly, amplify change.

Porcupine Tree underwent a renaissance many years back (In Absentia, 2002) shifting toward a progressive metal approach. Insurgentes is of personal evolution for Wilson, and the records moody but captivating substance proves this. Shoehorning the record into ‘prog rock with a leaning toward metal’ is not only a disservice to you, but entirely false. You’ll find that Insurgentes marks uncharted territory for Wilson, as he explores themes never to be associated by previous works. Track “Abandoner”, filled with electronic sequencing ends with ‘bit crushing’ that eventually scales to nearly be painful on the ear; if not, at least very uncomfortable. Similarly the haunting climax to track “Get All You Deserve” ends in discomfort. Purposefully easing someone into discomfort is simple with sound, but to make it compelling is nothing short of masterful. Wilson achieves this, easily. The riffing and atmospherics present are also worth a mention, as not only do they provide an excellent backbone to the record, but are so varied that coined criticisms toward ‘obvious and repetitive song writing’ go out the window. The massive degree in mood swings, create a dark and sombre undercurrent that is touching and felt with unease. The blend of the aforementioned makes Insurgentes, ultimately timeless.

The 55 minutes are so rich in detail, that when Wilson decides to throw a curve-ball (and he throws many) the impact might not be as greatly felt. However, in a sea of superlatives these kinds of criticisms have never felt smaller.


Posted by Posted by Andy at 11:07 pm
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