Steven Wilson -‘Drive Home’ (K-Scope Records)
CD / DVD package or Blu-Ray
Out October 28th
Drive Home is a rather fine companion piece to Steven Wilson’s The Raven That Refused To SIng (And Other Stories), released earlier this year (and which we reviewed here).
The third solo album from the Porcupine Tree frontman is an excellent album, which is well worth checking out if you haven’t heard it already.
Drive Home is a two disc package, one of which is an audio disc of radio edits, an unreleased track and other versions, while the second is a DVD of two animations and live performances recorded in Frankfurt earlier this year.
For someone who has long struggled with progressive rock, I have to say that The Raven… has come a long way towards persuading me that there are acts worth bothering about in the genre other than just Pink Floyd and King Crimson. As much as anything, it’s to do with the sheer beauty on display here – the title track and the orchestral version of ‘The Raven’ that strips it down to just voice and an orchestra are worth the price of admission alone.
Whilst you can find the two awesome videos for ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ (below) and ‘Drive Home’ (here) on YouTube, the second disc enables you to actually watch these two works of art on a proper screen minus all the associated adverts that come with watching something on the computer. Both of those animations are done by one Jess Cope, a South African animator who also worked on Frankenweenie and whose style is influenced by Tim Burton. Ms. Cope and Mr. Wilson are perfect foils for one another, and I hope that they will work together again in the future.
I have to confess that ‘The Birthday Party’ was probably best left off the original album. Although it was recorded during the original album sessions in LA, the best thing I can say about it is that it is comparatively brief.
Occasionally on the live tracks there are moments when it threatens to descend into self-indulgence. Thankfully these are – just about – reigned in.
Overall, this is a strong companion, far better than many of these types of issues often tend to be. While I would beg you again to buy the album as it’s well worth owning, if you haven’t heard Steven Wilson’s work before, this is also not a bad place to start with hearing a man who is incredibly inventive and talented. And although it’s been described as an EP, it’s incredibly good value for money.
Also Jess Cope’s Tumblr is here.
Words by Ed Jupp. More writing by Ed on Louder Than War can be found here.