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Land Of Chocolate

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Land Of Chocolate Unikorn on the Cob album cover
3.59 | 10 ratings | 5 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Musical Findings (8:36)
2. Waiting for the Go (3:54)
3. Double Standard Booth (6:56)
4. Walk Fast (4:16)
5. Upping the Ante (5:26)
6. We Love You Lots (5:10)
7. Broken Record (4:47)
8. Unicorn on the Kob (7:09)
9. Making Friends (6:25)
10. Self Control (7:24)

Total Time 60:03

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

CD Slipt Disc Records - SDR12400-2 (2001, US)

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LAND OF CHOCOLATE Unikorn on the Cob ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LAND OF CHOCOLATE Unikorn on the Cob reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
4 stars LAND OF CHOCOLATE is a 4-piece project that includes Jonn Buzby of FINNEUS GAUGE, and Jordan Perlson of ECHOLYN. This project originally started after Jonn, tired of playing drums, decided to write some songs on keyboards for a future solo project. After finding 3 other musicians interested in his compositions, the "solo idea" quickly turned into a band effort.

"Unikorn on a Cob" consists of 10 tracks that average about 6-minutes each. The vocals, which really stand out here, seem influenced by ECHOLYN. For those of you not familiar with ECHOLYN's vocal-heavy style, try to imagine the vocal interplay found on most GENTLE GIANT albums mixed with a unique sense of dissonance that is quickly likeable. The music, on the other hand, is a different story. It's hard to describe, but if you can imagine a modern style of progressive jazz-fusion (light on the jazz) influenced by GENTLE GIANT, and some of the musical passages found on DREAM THEATER's "Scenes from a Memory" you'll have some idea of what these guys sound like. The interplay between guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums is tight, somewhat frantic, and eclectic. Not to mention, that the production is top-notch (Brett Kull of ECHOLYN produced the CD).

What really impressed me here is that as prog as the music sounds, I could see these guys playing in front of college kids, and actually get respect. Their overall sound is modern, heavy (yet not metal), and catchy. In my opinion, the lyrics seemed to have been written for a wider audience rather than for prog fans. They tend to talk about relationships, or feature gen-X humor. My only warning here, is that a couple of tracks are a bit too commercial. Otherwise, this is some good stuff, and I recommend LAND OF CHOCOLATE to fans of ECHOLYN, and FINNEUS GAUGE. If you're not familiar with those two groups, the band website has some sound samples.

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Land of Chocolate is the brainchild of John Buzby, former drummer of Finneus Gauge and brother of Echolyn's Chris Buzby. Jordan Perlson, former percussionist for Echolyn, handles the drum kit. Brian O'Neill is the guitarist and John Jens holds down the bottom on bass and Chapman Stick.

The music is in the vein of Finneus Gauge, sort of an updated Bruford style fusion outfit with heavier prog sensibilities.There is a lot of Gentle Giant/Echolyn vocal harmonies. Some songs even ring of Echolyn. I hear some 80s/90s King Crimson as well. Heady, busy music. In the tray insert there is a milk carton with Land of Choclate Milk printed on the side. Below that is the message, "38% more music than other bands." I'd have to say that statement is valid, these guys play their asses off. The music shifts textures and rhythms faster and more often then the TOP 40's next biggest thing.

Musically, this band is chock full of talent, ideas, interesting solos, complex themes and stinging chord structure. Lyrically, they are a bit off the wall, Zappaesque, similar to Frogg Cafe, Adrian Belew, Mike Keneally or Bubblemath. Vocally, now here is the challenge, John Buzby has a voice that wears thin after a few listens. Not a bad voice, just not a pleasant, "let me hear that again," type of voice. That is the reason for a simple "good" rating and the reason why it doesn't get much playing time in my CD player. I prefer this type of music sans vocals. With only one instrumental, title track "Unikorn on the Cob," this is a problem, for me. I would also say there are too many lyrics, too much singing. Nearly every tune is 60-70% vocal, not enough space for the music to do the talking.

The production is great, Echolyn's Brett Kull was behind the board, so there really is no surprise there. Each instrument has presence, space and owns some space in the mix.

Walk Fast is one of the better tracks, a bit slower, not as harsh vocally. Musical Findings has some great lyrics about listening to the music that impacted our lives and tastes. Upping the Ante is another tune that isn't harmed by the vocals. Broken Record is another ballad, nice synth work, sounds like guitar synth to me. Making Friends could have been left on the studio cutting room floor or is that the recycle bin? Making fun of multiple personalities isn't at all funny, scary really. Self Control has a bit of the King Crimson stick loop at the beginning. Another good track.

So there you have it. It all about John Buzby's voice. in my opinion. If you like it, great! If you don't, it's still good.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Fans of Echolyn shoud rejoice in this band. Of course, there is a strong relationship. John Buzby I presume is the brother of Chris from Echolyn. Jordan Perlson played drums on Cowboy peoms Free. And producer Brett Kull has been a fixture in Echolyn.

The music sounds like a cross between Echolyn and Bill Bruford's self named fusion band. The vocals, like Echolyn's are rich and layered (but not quite as precise). And the compositions are strong and complex.

And the lyrics stand out (at least to me) as some of the best in recent years.

From We Love You Lots:

"We love you lots We love you really lots Leave me alone - you're annoying Leave me alone NOW!"

Who can't love that?

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Land of Chocolate is a very intresting band from USA, releasing so far two albums, first one named Unikorn on the cob issued in 2000 is an excellent example of how must melted the diffrent subgenres of prog. Here I find passages from eclectic most of the time remind me of Echolyn period, jazz fusion and even prog metal here and there, the result is a great one, belive me. The band was formed by Jonn Buzby of Finneus Gauge, and Jordan Perlson of Echolyn, both great musicians who left a trademark on these albums. The music is quite complex, even all pieces doesn't goes above 6 min, no problem with that, the musicianship and all passages are well performed with plenty of good moments. The music sometimes is very dissonant and complex very similar with Gentle Giant in places with a good doze of jazz fusion and elements of prog metal very same with Dream Theater (Scenes from a memory era for ex) - Upping the Ante is a perfect match. The opening track Musical Findings is an instant likable, very good are the vocal parts, great opener and the albums goes like this on entire pieces. Definetly a grower for me, I begun to fuly apreciate only after 2-3 spings, but after that I like it a lor and is their best out of two. Great druming aswell, very precise drumer, who has some fine chops, not to mention guitarist who does an outstanding job here. Little under rated band, not many knows abot them and for sure needs a far better view, this album is a perfect example of how great this band was and still is in prog circles. Fans of prog music might give this band a try, both albums worth it. 4 stars to this one and recommended.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars US act from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, formed in 2000 by bassist John Jens and guitarist Brian O'Neill, after they came in contact with Finneus Gauge's drummer Jonn Buzby.Buzby, who was not interested in playing the drums, took over the keyboard/vocal duties and the trio temporarily brought in Echolyn's percussionist Jordan Perlson to play the drums during their first recordings.However these were completed with new member John Germuga behind the drum kit.The debut ''Unikorn on the Cob'' was privately released in 2001, co-produced by Echolyn's Brett Kull.

Land of Chocolate played complicated, quirky and heavy-sounding Progressive Rock with tons of shifting moods and the sound comes actually as cross between FINNEUS GAUGE and ECHOLYN, being less complex and jazzy than the first but also less symphonic than the later.The album combines the Progressive Rock's melodies and sudden breaks with the grandieur of bombastic Prog in the vein of DREAM THEATER and the virtuosity of Jazz-Rock in a cool way, while the vocal work of Jonn Buzby is pretty good, offering even some ECHOLYN-like multiple voices at moments.The music is adventurous, well-structured and highly intricate all the way with numerous changing climates between the melodic parts, the well-arranged vocal lines, the extreme power of Heavy Prog with full-blown synthesizers and the jazzy guitar solos of Brian O'Neill.However the album lacks the memorable still intelligent themes or intense instrumental music of ECHOLYN and FINNEUS GAUGE respectively, but the final result is quite positive with a few cuts being great like ''We Love You Lots'' or the eponymous piece.

For fans of Progressive Rock with a high level of technique this is an excellent purchase.Challenging, powerful music all the way with plenty of virtuosity.Recommended.

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