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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Outland - 2003 Different Worlds
Outland - 2003 Different Worlds

Jeff Prentice - vocals; guitars; keyboards
Rob Nishida - guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
Guest: Lance Tamanaha - drums

I recently received this in the mail, after reading some pretty good reviews of it elsewhere on the web. I do recall at the tailend of 2002 that Outland were given a brief mention on our old website HEART of the ROCK. The comparison to G-DAZE heroes Boston was one that was bandied about and duly noted, hence the AOR radar perking up at that very mere suggestion. Ever hopeful that an act would come along and follow in the famous footsteps of Massachusetts' finest, I thought we had come close in the shape of Long Island outfit Band Central Station. But alas.. Not to be. From the other side of the American continent though, California in fact, are the band Outland.. who are effectively a duo. They prove that what originally went into five, can fit into two. I feel though that additional comparisons can be made to others apart from just Boston. Take for instance the highly rated band Big Mouth, featuring Larry Leon, Phil Cristian and Basil Fung, or the likes of Two Fires or the recent Frontiers signing Ramos. All appropriate comparisons given the more up-to-date timeframes that we're working with here.

The Songs
The Big Mouth comparison is hard to ignore on the opener 'Valerie' - because they did a song quite like it, and with the same name! For those that have heard their 1997 album 'Hands Of Time', you will find a lot to like with Outland then. 'Love Alive' takes a poke at the likes of Preview, nice eighties radio oriented rock. My fave track occurs with the absolute smokin' effort 'One More Night'. The aggressive guitars combined with the harmony vocals sees this one as the stand-out. I am reminded of indie bands such as the Mark Allen Band or Promises Promises (both bands are reviewed here at GLORY-DAZE). The foot stomping and hand clapping entrance on 'Mary Anne', along with the acoustic guitar setting just smacks of Boston and the aforementioned Band Central Station. The album doesn't let up there. Contenders such as '(Is Our Love) Strong Enough' and the sensational title track 'Different Worlds' do not let the side down one iota. Even the cover of the Stage Dolls classic 'Love Cries' is just as good as the original.. The album still retains momentum as we reach toward the end - 'Take The Money Run' nodding an acknowledgment to the likes of Two Fires and Big Mouth yet again. Probably the softer moments such as 'Forever Yours' and 'Dream Away' needed a little bit more attention. Pleasant but not spectacular ballads when you compare them against some of the classics of the genre.

In Summary
All in all some excellent tunes here. It's pure AOR the way we remember it, and certainly Jeff and Rob have kept true to the ideals of the genre. I am certainly impressed, and will be queuing up for the next Outland release. I'm sure it will be a boomer if this is anything to go by!


Track Listing
01 Valerie
02 Love Alive
03 Forever Yours
04 One More Night
05 Mary Anne
06 Strong Enough
07 Last Forever
08 Different Worlds
09 Dream Away
10 Love Cries
11 Take The Money And Run

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Outland - 2003 Different Worlds

Outland - 2004 Long Way Home

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:36:52
Very average and a major dissapointment. Playing is ok, production ok, songs wise - honestly can't remember any even after a few spins.There is a lot better stuff out there to spend the old pennies on than this.
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