I have a funny history with Landing. For years, the only album I owned by them was Oceanless, which has one of the best live songs I’ve heard in my life (that’s ‘Are you gone to vast arc hues?’)
Then time passed. I bought Brocade and Sphere and I loved them. I lost track of them for a while, but then they released Wave Lair last year and although the expansive sound was there, there was a definite hint of 80s dream rock here, with ethereal vocals, drones and drum machines recreating an atmosphere seemingly lost to the tides of time.
II continues this sound and it seems very fitting that Landing are releasing it on tape during their 15th anniversary tour, their first tour in a long time.
‘Gathering’ finds a wave to ride on, one that originated somewhere between the disembodied sounds of The Cure‘s ‘A forest’ and Tangerine Dream‘s Firestarter soundtrack. The vocal delivery is discreet; a distant whisper sung as a prayer for comfort.
Is comfort ever found? By the sounds of ‘Two Veils’, I suppose no, but maybe a reason has been found. Failing that, an explanation: “I am stuck here / Between two veils / I forgot my secret name / But the wounds remain.” A chilling new wave synth riff comes wailing like a banshee roaming through the desolation. It’s one of the most atmospheric and creepy songs Landing has made, although never as bleak as ‘How did you feel’ (from Oceanless.)
Besides scaring the bejesus out of you, Landing also enjoys doing warm, fuzzy sweet songs and ‘Tending and Time’ is that song. Droning synths, arpeggios and a shushed vocal approach make it a subtle present for your ears. ‘Cyst’ is more of an experimental approach, where a minimal sound slowly builds up with long instrumental passages that drive home the acerbic lyrics: “You should have known better / Than to come to me like this / Than to occupy the mist / Than to plague me like a cyst.”
The trip finishes with ‘Sphere II’, a sort of re-work of ‘Sphere’ (from Sphere.) The layered approach ‘Sphere’ had is stripped down and retrofitted to this new sound, where recreation stops somewhere halfway through the song and elaboration becomes the name of the game. II has a few throwbacks to the old Landing tricks, but the band is clever enough to celebrate their 15 years as a band with their gaze clearly looking towards the future.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López
Check our interview with Landing.