Artist: Porcupine Tree
Genre: Progressive Rock
Title: Octane Twisted
Label: Kscope Records
Musicians: Richard Barbieri – keyboards, synthesizer, Colin Edwin – bass guitar,
Gavin Harrison – drums, mixing, percussion, John Wesley – guitars, vocals,
Steven Wilson – guitars, keyboards, mixing, vocals
Octane Twisted is a live album released by Porcupine Tree in November 2012. The album contains a live performance of the band’s 2009 album The Incident in its entirety recorded at the Riviera Theater in Chicago on 30 April 2010. The second CD contains other tracks also recorded in Chicago (CD 2, tracks 1–4), along with 3 songs from the band’s show at Royal Albert Hall in London on 14 October 2010 (CD 2, tracks 5–7). There is also a DVD.
I never thought I would say this about a Porcupine Tree endeavor given the perfectionism and attention given to all their recordings, but for a live album, this one is lacking some important items. First, I don’t know exactly how it was recorded, but it is a bit thin sounding, which generally is not a big deal for a live album, but one barely hears the audience, so one does not get that live show feel. The sound-stage is also a bit narrow for a live concert(s). Also it seems that the live versions of the songs don’t have the impact compared to the studio versions, at least on this CD. It almost makes one wonder if Porcupine Tree was never meant to play live, but of course that is a silly train of thought given that the DVD is probably better on this and this is only one live album.
There is really nothing that stands out on this double CD except for the fantastic drumming (live, not the computer generated drums that appear on certain tunes) and the fact that the tracks were not separated by a few seconds of silence like a studio LP. (You should never do that with live albums).