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Lands End

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Lands End The Lower Depths album cover
3.58 | 44 ratings | 7 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (66:34)
- The Lower Depths:
1. At the Scene of an Accident Waiting to Happen (1:21)
2. Digital Signatures (14:22)
3. Behind the Iron Gates (7:46)
4. Why Should I? (5:11)
5. Hope Springs Eternal (8:28)
6. A New World Order (26:29)
7. Believe In What (3:17)

Disc 2 (70:52)
- Plundering the depths :
8. Eyes Of Venus (6:28)
9. Indoctrinated (5:34)
10. The Philosophy Of Containers II (0:26)
11. This Addiction (5:08)
12. Acquiesce To The Martinets Precept (53:11) *

* The complete improv of 'Dross' from 3/96

Total Time: 137:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff McFarland / vocals (3,5,7,8,11,12), guitars (7,8,11,12)
- Francisco Neto / guitars (8,12)
- Fred Hunter / keyboards, bass, bass pedals, acoustic & electric guitars, percussion
- Mark Lavallee / drums, percussion

- Cathy Alexander / vocals (2,6)
- Steve Anderson / guitars (6,9)
- Bruce Soord / guitars (2,4), vocals (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Fred Hunter & Andy Clegg

2xCD Cyclops ‎- CYCL 142D (2005, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LANDS END The Lower Depths ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

LANDS END The Lower Depths reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First of all, when it comes to getting ones monies worth, Lands End really comes through. Two discs of top-notch progressive rock played with passion, skill and a keen ear to melody and nuance, and more than a few surprises. Lands End pulls out all the stops.

Interestingly, Lands End has not been together in the same room since 1998. The Lower Depths was recorded from various parts of the globe. Las Vegas, UK, Rio de Janeiro... a very global album, no? Not all of the tunes are strictly Lands End, in a "band" sense. Some collaborators were called in to paint their signatures on the overall portrait of modern prog. All to good effect, I must say. The Morrigan's Cathy Alexander adds some smooth, silky tones over Fred's deft keyboards on Digital Signatures and New World Order. Francisco Neto steps aside for Sphere3's guitarissimo, Steve Anderson, who duets with Cathy on New World Order and solos exclusively on Indoctrinated. Bruce Soord adds his Pineapple Thief touches to a radio- friendly Why Should I? This tune could pull down some chart attention on the college circuit. Bruce and Cathy add a certain quality that should open Lands End to a wider group of prog fans. To add another "strange" note, Why Should I? was penned by Francisco Neto and Jeff McFarland and neither appear on the track... Limelight dodgin' and open minded proggers? Whoddathunk, eh!

Jeff McFarland, one of my fav modern prog vocalists, makes his presence heard through the Lower Depths. Jeff combines alternative vocal timbres with prog's lyrical wit. Making statements, both political and emotional, with heartfelt zest. You can feel the belief in his words.

Some older Lands End tunes resurface on disc 2. Eyes of Venus and This Addiction brush the shoulder lint away as they breathe fresh air. Acquiesce to the Martinets Precept, clocking in at 53 minutes, shows off Lands End's penchant for the epic. A kitchen sink tune, which allows each member the space to explore his craft in depth, or should I say Lower Depth, in an open format. This track requires a huge amount of the listeners time and should be heard a few times to capture it's grandeur. Massive, yet compelling. Neto's parts should garner special attention. The guy ROCKS with wild abandon.

Recommended to lovers of the EPIC, creative nature of progressive rock. Lands End delivers in spades.

To Fred: thanks for the words, you keep prog rockin'.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have been a fan of Lands End since their very first album, the charming and very sincere "Pacific Coast Highway" back in 1993, despite certain amateurish tendencies when compared to the technologically wealthy powerhouse legend, Pink Floyd. This multi-national musical friendship has made some wonderful albums since, namely Terra Serranum (1995) and Natural Selection (1996). But keeping together a French Canadian drummer, a Brazilian guitarist, an American singer and a transplanted Brit keyboard-bassist is not an easy chore what with family and day-job obligations. Hence, too many quiet years went by with sheer silence from these talented musicians but in 2005, the wait was finally worth it with this extensive 2 CD that has revived their status as ongoing prog stalwarts. The first CD "The Lower Depths" considers the latest configuration of Lands End bringing in some fine outside help such as inventive vocalist Cathy Alexander of The Morrigan, guitar slingers Bruce Soord of Pineapple Thief/Vulgar Unicorn and Steve Anderson from Sphere in replacement of Francisco Neto. Over an hour of masterful compositions, with two long epics liberally featuring all the newbies, first with the glittering modern prog of "Digital Signatures" starring Hunter's signature key work, weaving a simply astonishing Alexander vocalization and a typical dastardly Soord solo, as well as "A New World Order", a 24 minute three piece suite that would make a Saville Row tailor blush, chock full of artistic prowess from all the players, spotlight firmly aimed at Steve Anderson's slowly building and sizzling guitar circle ("It's musical haute couture, madame Progue"). There is little here to dislike for the same consistent reasons as before: the noncommercial, very personal adventure continues with the same aplomb, worthy of our patience. Even the shorter pieces exude a distinct quality that certainly strikes a deep chord, such as the unbridled moody simplicity of "Behind the Iron Gates", the psychedelic-pop dreaminess of "Why Should I?" oddly penned by Neto and singer Jeff McFarland both of whom do not appear on the track, replaced by supremely talented Bruce Soord or even the melancholic "Hope Springs Eternal" with its endless cascades of atmospherics emanating from Hunter's keys, the beseeching vocals hinting at some late model Talk Talk album, traversed by a simple synthesizer solo that needs little added drama. The second CD "Plundering of the Depths" is more a series of past recordings that stayed archived with particular mention of oldies "Eyes of Venus" a much improved remix from 1995 and the synth-bass driven "This Addiction" from 1996. Though some perfectionists severely dismiss any kind of "old tapes found in the attic featuring extended meaningless jams", the truth is that some super-jam bands deserve to express what they do best and the gargantuan and pantagruelic 53 minute behemoth " Acquiesce to the Martinets Precept" surely highlights those qualities that make this band so special with a mesmerizing ride, replete with insane improvisations from both Francisco Neto on shrieking guitar and Fred Hunter on a vast array of keyboards (for you perverted fans of Taurus pedals: this is an ORGY!). Drummer extraordinaire Mark Lavallée unashamedly displays his Michael Giles influences and Jeff vocalizes with total abandon. Overblown, pompous and exalted? You bet and thank you. After listening to over 2 hours of this amazing testament to prog patience, I can only rejoice in the knowledgeable soothing of one ancient, tried and true Italian adage" "Che va piano, va sano" and sit back in continued proggy amazement. 4.5 slowly sifting hourglasses
Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars LANDS END's most recent studio album is a double with the first disc coming in at over 65 minutes and the second disc over 71 minutes.That's a lot of music. As usual the enviroment is the subject matter with this California band. Some guests here including Cathy Alexander from the Folk band THE MORRIGAN on vocals, but more importantly to me we also get the great Bruce Soord on guitar for two tracks, and he sings also on one of those. I must admit i've always had some issue with this band. Either the sound quality or the poor sounding vocals, thankfully this sounds fine but I must admit that I don't like the female vocals or the regular singer Jeff McFarland. So yes this is a long freaking recording to sit through which i've done about 5 times now. I really like the cover art though.

"Digital Signatures" kicks in before a minute followed by a beat. Female vocals as it settles before 3 1/2 minutes. Synths before 7 minutes give us a Neo-Prog flavour. It settles with guitar a minute later. "Behind The Iron Gates" opens with birds singing and they hang around for some time as the music continues. "Why Should I?" is the only track i like and Bruce sings the lyrics and plays some guitar on it.

"Hope Springs Eternal" opens with synths washing in. They leave as vocals and piano come in around 2 minutes. Lots of synths late. "A New World Order" features those female vocals.They come and go throughout this over 24 minute track. I like the bass after 4 minutes and the spacey synths too. A good sound 19 1/2 minutes in as well as the guitar comes to the fore but unfortunately it's brief. "Believe In What" features acoustic guitar and reserved vocals throughout. Disc two if anything is not as good. There is some good stuff in the over 53 minute "Acquiesce To The Martinets Precept". Of course at that length i'd hope so.

Fans only.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I bought this cd on the back of Malcolm Parker saying it was brilliant and it is. The different vocals and style of songs do not disrupt the enjoyment of the two cd's. It is one of those cd's that hit you straight away making it permanently left in your cd player. I bought 2 other cd's at ... (read more)

Report this review (#65453) | Posted by | Thursday, January 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is an excellent prog double CD. It is hard to believe these guys can put such superb music together without being in the same studio together. That is a tribute to Fred Hunter. I will not go into the band's history, as it is available above. The first CD starts with "An Accident..." which ... (read more)

Report this review (#60732) | Posted by hcc4649 | Sunday, December 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After a long hiatus since the last studio recording (Natural Selection from 1997), I think it's fair to say it is the band's best release so far. Production in general was improved as well as song writing and band performance. A great album from beginning to end. Intricate melodies and great synt ... (read more)

Report this review (#54167) | Posted by | Monday, October 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Lands End's sixth album release is a double CD affair, also being the one hundred and forty second release on the Cyclops label. Cyclops was started by Malcolm Parker in 1990 as an off shoot of his mail order company GFT. Over the years Malcolm has nurtured along the careers of many fine ban ... (read more)

Report this review (#54049) | Posted by | Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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