Land's End - An Older Land

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 083
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:00:00

Before the American outfit Land's End released their debut Pacific Coast Highway they had already written a substantial number of original tunes. In fact, the writing went so well that they decided to include completely new material constantly. Terra Serranum was their first for the Cyclops label in 1995. Together with the Land's End fan club they have released a retrospective of sorts, that includes eight tracks that illustrate the songwriting talent that is present within the band. The unique soundscape of the band lies in the original guitar sound of Francisco Neto and the "typical" drum style of Mark Lavallee. Also, the "whispering," plaintive singing of Jeff McFarland contributes to the restful music that you can expect from Land's End.

An Older Land is, as the band puts it, indulging themselves in the past and experimenting with the future. "Wind Across The Water" originally found its way onto the band's very first demo way back in '92. In fact, it's more like an improvisation based on a repetitive rhythm rather than a real song. "Wake To Find Me Dead," "Jazz Magic Potion" and "K." were all recorded for the band's debut CD. "Jazz Magic Potion" is rather predictable and is one of the weaker tracks aboard this album. "Dross" begins in the vintage Genesis tradition, although I don't quite understand the use of a synthesized brass section and a wahwah guitar. You can also clearly hear that it is an improvisation, for in most cases the rhythm isn't respected, whilst there's simply no end to this try-out!

The final track is an ingenious concept! It concerns the same song, but brought to you in no fewer than three different versions. The song in question is "The Last Word" and into one new track they have fit the original version, a composite from various gigs and jam sessions, and a live recording done during their pre-Progfest gig in Hollywood, CA.

An Older Land is NOT a real Land's End album, but more of a fan club oddity. They used to release these things on flexidisc (remember the Beatles X-mas discs?) then later on, you were treated to tapes, but sometimes bands just can't wait until there is time and money to record a completely new album. I don't really know what to think of this album as you can't really compare it with Terra Serranum, so I guess it's better to hold on to what you've got and wait for a completely new studio album.

Ashes (3:32) / Wind Across The Water (5:44) / Wake To Find Me Dead (7:39) / Jazz Magic Portion (5:56) / K. (5:00) / Dross (25:11) / Love Forever (2:50) / The Last Word (12:50)

Jeff Mc Farland - vocals, guitars
Farnsisco Netto - guitar, bass guitar
Mark Lavallee - drums
Fred Hunter - keyboards, bass

Pacific Coast Highway (1993)
Terra Serranum (1995)
An Older Land (1996)
Natural Selection (1996)
Drainage (1998)
The Lower Depths... (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 24th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1128
Language: english


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