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Porcupine Tree are one of the most revered bands in prog-metal. Since forming in 1987, the English trio have unleashed 11 studio albums (including 2022's Closure/Continuation) that, like all great bands of the virtuosic and ambitious variety, can be a bit intimidating to approach for someone who's uninitiated with their sound.
For them, Revolver is here to help with our "Point of Entry" series, in which we ask artists to pick the one standout cut from across their entire catalog that they believe is the best place for virgin listeners to begin their journey. Below, Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson does the honors. It's a tough choice.
I think what's cool about "Harridan" is that it somehow covers all of the various aspects of Porcupine Tree in one eight-minute song. It's always been a struggle for us to represent ourselves in a short span of time, singles taken from albums tend to be unsatisfactory because you almost have to hear a whole album to get the diversity of our musical universe and how it all fits together.
But "Harridan" is unusual in that it does have a little bit of almost all of our musical DNA, from a big crushing metal riff, to ambience and sound design, an anthemic chorus, an introspective singer-songwriter section, and a funky groove in the unusual time signature of five. It's no coincidence that this opens up the new record Closure/Continuation, since I see it as a preview of everything that follows on the album. It could even be a manifesto for what Porcupine Tree is.