Land Of Chocolate - Unikorn On The Cob

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Slipped Disc Records
Catalog Number: SDR12400-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:10:00

I'm warming to this the deeper into the album I go. Overall, as you might expect, Land Of Chocolate sound a lot like Finneus Gauge, Jonn Buzby's former band, itself an offshoot of Echolyn, which they also sound like. And in some cases like Spock's Beard. Land Of Chocolate spend half the time angular, the other half with soft, hazy edges. Land Of Chocolate (named, I'm sure, because of Hershey's) are Jonn Buzby (ex-Finneus Gauge) on keys, vocals, loops and auxiliary percussion; John Jens on bass and Chapman Stick; Brian O'Neill on electric and acoustic guitars; and Echolyn's Jordan Perlson on drums. Echolyn's Brett Kull guests on lap steel guitar on "Broken Record." This track has a dreamy arrangement, elastic and rubbery, and a little spacey as well. The track goes to interesting places -- O'Neill's solo is particularly nice. The track itself covers a lot of territory in its seven minutes. The first few seconds of acoustic guitar made me think of the 70's song "Summer Breeze."

"Waiting For The Go" is very much like the material of Finneus Gauge, as it sounds like "One Inch Of The Fall"... the title even has the same number of syllables. It starts out a little Crimsonish though and is a bit jazzier, I think, than "One Inch..." "Double Standard Booth" is the most Echolyn-like. In contrast to expectation, "Walk Fast" is a slow paced song, a tinge of melancholy. But a rather nice track, nice use of Hammond, one of my favourites. "Upping The Ante" is one part modern Echolyn, though it does at time approach metal with ferocious bass, drums, and guitars, only with some decidedly un-metal keys. There're hints of Spock's Beard here, too, around the time of Beware Of Darkness. But maybe that has to do with Buzby often sounding like Neal Morse. "We Love You Lots" is a little frenetic and quirky, a track with a strong Spock's Beard vibe, an anthem we can dedicate to all those folks who truly annoy us.

"Making Friends" is the odd ball track, not just because of the subject matter, but because it is so unlike anything else on the album. Thematically, it is a little creepy with its horror theme - insanity on the order of Hannibal Lecter, say. It's twisted but fragile delivery makes me think of Discipline. Underscoring the chorus is Ralph Carita, reciting the definition of insanity, and throughout are all sorts of odd voices. There even comes a point where you'll think of Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" a bit.

"Unicorn On The Kob" is a nifty an instrumental, rocking in the way Djam Karet might, since they are on my mind, with the addition of something that sounds like a xylophone, and more organ from Buzby. It is energetic and one of the most interesting pieces on the album.

Overall I like Unikorn On The Cob, though not every track. Land Of Chocolate are not an Echolyn clone, though clearly their muse comes from the same place...think of them as the dark chocolate to Echolyn's white.

Musical Findings (8:35) / Waiting for the Go (3:55) / Double Standard Booth (6:56) / Walk Fast (4:16) / Upping the Ante (5:26) / We Love You Lots (5:10) / Broken Record (4:47) / Unicorn on the Kob (7:09) / Making Friends (6:24) / Self Control (7:25)

Brian O'Neill - guitars
Jonn Buzby - keyboards, vocals
Jordan Perlson - drums
John Jens - bass and Chapman stick

Unikorn On The Cob (2001)
Regaining The Feel (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 18th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 750
Language: english


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