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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Wildland - 1990 In This Lifetime
Wildland - 1990 In This Lifetime

ARTIST: Wildland
ALBUM: In This Lifetime
SERIAL: 4664342
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Noel Zammit - lead vocals * Jeff Lenham - guitars, vocals * Keefe West Jr - guitars * Toby Messiter - keyboards * Dorian West - bass, vocals., brass, additional keyboards * Adrian Cannon - drums, percussion, drum programming

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wildland * 02 The Sun * 03 Lifetime * 04 Don't Get Me Down * 05 All My Love * 06 Land * 07 Welcome To The Wildlife * 08 One For Unity * 09 Love You Tonight * 10 Connection * 11 Owe It All To You

When we talk about late 80's Australian melodic rock, there are a few 'go to' bands from that era. Think Roxus, Southern Sons/The State, DeMont, BB Steal, Dragon, at a pinch Noiseworks. Guaranteed one name that won't be among them is Sydney based Wildland. There's not a lot out there on this band, they must've been good enough because they landed a 'big fish' deal with CBS Australia, and released their one-off album 'In This Lifetime' back in 1990. What we do know about the band members: well the rhythm section of Dorian West and Adrian Cannon were previously in the 1989 version of The Party Boys, a well known Aussie band featuring a who's who of Australian rock n roll, plus invited guests such as The Eagles Joe Walsh, and Status Quo's Alan Lancaster. Singer Noel Zammit and guitarist Jeff Lenham had played in various spin-off bands related to longtime blues/jazz outfit Beachhead, while Keefe West Jnr has played with numerous top international artists as a guitarist. The album, over the last few years as it has become better known among collectors and fileshare seekers, has been labelled as a poppy AOR set of tunes. I'd go so far as to say that the Wildland sound has a decidedly Canadian angle to it. Surprisingly, bands such as Glass Tiger, Eye Eye and The Arrows (due to the use of brass instruments) are a very good fit, more so than their Aussie brethren.

The Songs
The title track 'Wildland' leads us off, nice ambient synths and Mark Knopfler styled guitar work makes way for a fun time jaunt across the soundscape. 'The Sun' could be Glass Tiger repackaged, a nice melodic piece, with lovely guitar melodies and subtle synth layers. 'Lifetime' gets a bit cranky and sassy, harder guitar lines with the occasional brass blast along with some neat synth fills. 'Don't Get Me Down' is one of my favourite tracks on the album, prowling bass lines, a memorable keyboard motif and a sound not unlike Hotel Hunger. 'All My Love' is very pop bound with a bunch of musical reference points.. pop, reggae, flamenco.. a mixed bag, not good. Thankfully we are back to the AOR style with 'Land', a drama filled instrumental only event. 'Welcome To The Wildlife' again has that Glass Tiger feel to it, a grandiose sound, expansive even. I liked 'One For Unity', with its deeper vibe while Noel Zammit really has this Alan Frew going thing on! 'Love You Tonight' reverts back to a trendy style of pop, whereas 'Connection' has a racier edge, popping bass lines, jangly guitar, not unlike INXS at their most listenable. The final track 'I Owe It All To You' is another highlight, the band in full flight with melodies prominent everywhere. Great track..

In Summary
In the 'where did they go' stakes? Keyboardist Toby Messiter and bassist Dorian West went on to join Sydney metallers Scary Mother, Keefe Wst Jnr moved to L.A where he is involved with music production and engineering, Jeff Lenham has played in numerous outfits plus he has hooked up with The Party Boys founder Paul Christie to be a part of the Almost Famous Corporate Teambuilding organisation, drummer Adrian Cannon moved on the band Matt Finish, and is currently pounding the skins for Aussie band The Bushwhackers. As you can see, the band members all come from and went to varying forms of musical styles. I'm not totally sure that the Wildland style was wholly representative of their skillset, but at least they left behind an album that would appeal to the purist AORster. As mentioned, though these guys are Australian, you'll enjoy it more if you can pretend for 50 plus minutes that they are transplanted Canadians!

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