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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lands End

Pacific Coast Highway

Review by G. W. Hill

This is a strong entry from prog rockers Lands End and includes The Last Word, a standard of the California based band.

Lands End is Mark Lavallee, Jeff McFarland, Francisco Neto and Fred Hunter. If not available in your local Tower Records, all Lands End albums are available in the US from Lands End, 5532 W. 119th Place, Inglewood, CA., USA 90304 for $12.00 each, including shipping.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Conspicuously Empty
The extended intro to this song features dissonant keys, sound effects and an atmospheric buildup. This moody balladic track is very Genesisesque, although feeling a bit jazzier at times, and features wonderful lyrical imagery. "The air thick and thirsty, Her touch filled with rust, The past we`ll rape, if we must". The cut jumps out into an energetic and very entertaining musical break.
Neptune`s Last Tear-Part 1:Pacific Coast Highway
This is a pretty and rather atmospheric instrumental with Genesis oriented strains.
Requiem of The Sea
Opening with intriguing keyboards, powerful piano sets a strong tone, and the piece begins building from there. The intro features potent textures and very expressive guitar work. The composition then turns quite haunting before jumping into the song proper. This is a very effective and solid prog number of epic proportions.
Persistent Memories
With an intro focusing on percussion, a strong guitar line pulls the piece away from that percussive mode as the piece begins to build. This prog piece, rather bouncy, is quite catchy. "Seventeen appeals to me, Remember how it used to be, Before the freedom and the lies, I loved you once and once is now, Such foolish words I`m not allowed." This emotional track, although certainly progressive, has strong links to the music of such bands as Psychedelic Furs and Modern English. Later sections of the song take on a fury and intensity that call to mind early Marillion.
At Lands End
After a playful, piano-dominated intro, this instrumental explodes into a prog rock powerhouse. This is another number of epic length, and covers a wide variety of textures and soundscapes. At Lands End is one of a type of cuts in which the listener can easily become lost. These are the kind of tracks that will end and you really don`t know how you got to that point, because the movement of the piece was so fluid and enchanting.
The Last Word
Featuring a gentle intro, this is a solid progger. The tune is essentially an extended jam, in a somewhat Dead-like fashion, with strong prog tendencies. The Last Word is a staple of Lands End`s live show.
Hidden Track
This track is a dramatic, atmospheric sound effects driven piece.
 
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