Nil Recurring is the latest release from Porcupine Tree, an EP containing four tracks that basically didn't make it onto the Fear of a Blank Planet album from 2007. At just under 30 minutes of music, it seems rather odd that this thing is selling for the same price as a full-length CD, but regardless, longtime PT followers will surely want to have these four tunes in their collections. The opening title track is a searing instrumental that shows the space rock prowess that this band possesses, chock full of Steven Wilson's mind bending guitar solos and ethereal keyboard textures from Richard Barbieri. "Normal" begins as a dreamy ballad before morphing into a crunchy rocker with thunderous riffs and a rock solid rhythmic foundation. On "Cheating the Polygraph" the band combines bombastic progressive metal with melodic indie flavors for a style that is decidedly Porcupine Tree, with Wilson's thick wah-wah solos exploding over a mix of bubbly synths and Gavin Harrison's intricate drum fills. The closing minute is quite dramatic, with huge metal guitar riffs chugging away while pounding rythms and fluttering synths provide the fuel. Closing number "What Happens Now? " is 8-minutes of sonic PT at their best, Wilson's processed vocals drifting over layers of keys & tricky drum and bass grooves, culiminating in a ferocious finale featuring screaming guitar lines and massive riffs from the ever capable Wilson.
Rating something like Nil Recurring is often difficult, as in all probability these songs initially weren't deemed strong enough to make Porcupine Tree's last album, but they were looked at as too good to just throw away. Rumor has it that these songs, and a few others, might show up on a future release, making Nil Recurring a full length CD rather than the EP status it enjoys here. Regardless, looked at on their own merit, these songs are all strong, and worthy of belonging in the Porcupine Tree catalog. Too bad Fear of a Blank Planet wasn't originally released as a double CD set so all these tunes could have been presented together.
1. Nil Recurring
3. Cheating the Polygraph
4. What Happens Now?