Transience is a side project of the better known Land's End. Due to demands from the real world ( jobs etc..), Land's End's members have had a hard time getting together to record. Keyboardist Fred Hunter threw together this project with the input from other members, sent to him via the various advance technological mediums available today. The disc under review contains over 60 min. of music plus an added bonus of 65+ min of mp3's. My review will focus only on the main 9 tracks however, as my technology is limited.
Whether called Land's End or Transience, this band's music has not really varied throughout the years. The main focus of each track is the lush keyboard sounds from Fred Hunter; who's celestial symphonic arrangements are infused into most every song; like the opening "Heaven & Earth" , with it's grandiose instrumental introduction. Guitarist/vocalist Jeff McFarland seems to be the second main contributor to this musical undertaking; having either written or co-authored 5 of the 9 tracks. His unique vocals style is at the forefront on tracks like the haunting ballad "Mind", and the soulful " How Lucky They Are". He also does some experimenting , as demonstrated on the distorted voices of "Blurring The Margins", which also features some ambient soundscapes over a hypnotic programmed drum beat. He brings his axe to the forefront in the melancholic "A Stones Throw From Nowhere", where his psychedelic-laden guitar outro harkens us back to a Pink Floyd of yesteryear. In "Riding The Iron Rooster", he lays down some delicate Hackettesque acoustic guitar passages. Every track on the disc is mixed in with it's predecessor, to create a conceptual musical tapestry. The only downfall though, is that the tracks tend to become slightly repetitious. The opening 5 tracks are much stronger than the closing 4; where pulsing electronica rhythms start taking over. The closing "Blurred Beyond Recognition" seems a far cry from the opening symphonic overtures of the first track. Exploratory keyboards, and unearthly vocals dominate the track; which gives the number a 'Vangelis', New-Age feel to it.
This record has some fine moments which remind this reviewer of some of the mellower passages from American counterparts Ad Infinitum; but on the whole, the disc seems a little too cold and distant. That may be the result of the members basically calling in their parts as opposed to working together in the studio for the duration of the project. The first half of the disc consists of the more recent pennings by the group and are, in my opinion, the real jewels on this CD. This gives me hope for these guys in the future.