Falling somewhere between Coldplay-like swoon rock and the Alan Parsons Project (with a dash of Muse-style prog-metal for good measure) is Fear of a Blank Planet, the latest album from Britain's Porcupine Tree.
Of course, PT has been around a lot longer than both Coldplay and Muse. Concocting a fake history and discography, mainman Steven Wilson started working under the PT moniker as a sort of imaginary band in 1987, but the music he was recording as a goof was good enough to warrant further exploration. Wilson, a full-on freak for Pink Floyd, poured his love of psychedelia, prog, and electronic music into meticulously crafted compositions. He eventually drafted some fellow musicians, turning Porcupine Tree into a proper group in the early '90s.
Since then, Wilson and company have been prolific and wildly experimental, delving into various forms of art pop, ambient music, conventional rock, and metal. Though PT has always been more successful in Europe than America, their live show, replete with multimedia goodies, is always worth catching.
Blank Planet features guest spots from prog-rock giants Alex Lifeson (Rush) and Robert Fripp (King Crimson). While neither is expected to show up, expect enough instrumental proficiency and complexity to satisfy your inner prog child.
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