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Lands End - An Older Land CD (album) cover


Lands End


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.41 | 23 ratings

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2 stars When these guys are good, they're very good. When they're not, well... Let's just say I'd gladly have given this album a couple of extra stars had it not been for the botched musicianship and the singing that gets a bit annoying after a while - Jeff McFarland's cultivated 'stoned' nonchalance suits LANDS END's music like a glove but it's a bit overdone, here; he is obviously not a singer and, man-oh-man, does he ever lose it when he screams or tries to sound jazzy (ouch! I can sense Ella Firtzgerald rolling in her grave).

Most of the musical themes on "An Older Land" are interesting and definitely typical LANDS END material: the mood swings, the distorted floydian guitars, the sparse, almost hollow drums and the lazy synths all contribute to create that thick, smoky mary-jane atmosphere you can almost cut with a knife. I almost hear horns in some places (although none are listed on the sleeve, no doubt a clever keyboard trick) which give the music a nice touch. None of the tunes are bad, really. I especially like the 18-minute final epic, "The Last Word". This one is quite a steemer, even if it borrows a great deal from "The Last Word" (the closing track on their album "Pacific Coast Highway"). It is, in fact, much better than the pointless 23-minute "Dross" - no real development happening here.

Just about everywhere on the album, the guitar play is way below par, technically speaking, Francisco Neto obviously having trouble keeping up with the rest of the crew. You know what he's driving at but he's awfully clumsy at it - and we're not talking pyrotechnics, here, just simple chops. And did I mention that the guitar often sounds out of tune? The keyboard play isn't exactly top notch either, and even the drummer skips a few beats. Unforgiveable. These flaws are always more or less present on all of their albums, but glaring so on "An Older Land".

This being said,"An Older Land" is still an album I like to hear because I'm always fascinated by the music of LANDS END, with flaws and all. In all fairness to readers, however, I can only advise you to look elsewhere for a good psychedelic prog album. For a total LANDS END experience, try their albums "Terrra Serranum" and especially "Natural History".

Hibou | 2/5 |


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