|Progressive Rock CD Reviews|
Review by G. W. Hill
Considered by many to be one of the best Lands End albums, this is a very strong prog rock work. Influences that can be heard on the CD are King Crimson, Hawkwind, Genesis and others.
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. You can also order the disc at Amazon through the link below.
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
|Life As We Know It|
This instrumental begins in very Crimsonesque tones, then becomes more atmospheric. Eventually, the piece essentially drops into the next cut.
|The Revolution, Like Saturn, Devours Its Children|
Although not nearly as energetic or lush as the live rendition on Drainage, this is an emotional prog rocker that is quite effective.
|For Reasons Unknown|
Feeling somewhat like a hard-edged Genesis, early segments of this tune are very rhythmic. This intriguing prog rocker features wonderful timing and some considerably entertaining keyboard work.
|The Philosophy of Containers|
This is a very brief and chaotic instrumental that jumps out of the previous song.
Following a Genesis tinged intro, guitar dominates the early segments of the composition. This guitar takes on Howeish textures at times, while also showing eastern leanings. Moments of the piece also seem to echo the sounds of UK. This cut is quite a solid musical journey which encompasses many exciting textures. "Swim in love and dry right off, Before the stuff sinks in, Come on feel my pretty skin, Feel with hands and not with heart".
|A Castle, Mother, Nanny and A Warm Soft Bed|
Somewhat balladish, this one turns into a fairly high-energy jam. A Hawkwindish outro segues into Neptune`s Last Tear.
|Neptune`s Last Tear|
Early segments of this piece are stripped down keyboard-based prog. As the cut moves from segment ii to section iii, the texture becomes more lush before the percussion takes over for a time. Then a jazzy texture begins to dominate, eventually moving into a strong prog instrumental break that combines elements of `70`s King Crimson, Genesis and harder-edged Pink Floyd. Through this segment, the number takes on many very interesting changes, touching on ELP at times, too. The cut is a very dramatic piece, and includes some Howe influenced acoustic work and even some whale song. "Swarming waters giving shape, At last the earth and sea relate, Spinning through the liquid flame, Yes, this is why I came". This epic piece (nearly 20 minutes) is divided into five movements (the first of which is actually on the Pacific Coast Highway album, rather than here. The four segments present on this disc are "the reef", "shepherds of the deep", "the voyage home" and "ceramic tide".
This instrumental features fine guitar work in a flamenco sort of vein.
|The End of Life As We Know It|
Another instrumental, this one begins with drums. The cut has strong Genesis leanings, among others, and features powerful guitar work and emotive keyboard strains.
Wind sounds start this cut, and it continues in a vaguely Hawkwindish mode. Eventually the piece becomes less sound effects oriented and more cohesive, although the sound effects are still noticeably present. Much of this composition is quite Floydish before a melodic and pretty theme from earlier moments of the album return to end the piece.
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