ALBUM: The Land Of Milk And Honey
SERIAL: C 064-46 131
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Bernd Unger - lead & backing vocals, guitars * Walter Seyffer - lead & Backing vocals, guitars, percussion *Wolfgang Biersch - guitars, backing vocals * Christian Schimanski - guitars * Rainer Herzog - keyboards, piano, moog, organ, backing vocals * Norby Hamm, Joshi Dinier - bass * Armin Ruhl, Val Hargreaves - drums, percussion * Lothar Krist - sax
TRACK LISTING: 01 Anything Left To Share * 02 Au Pair Girl * 03 Gun That Motor, Boy! * 04 Swan Song * 05 The Land Of Milk And Honey * 06 Sweet Rollin' Train * 07 Face To Face * 08 And Your Bird Can Sing * 09 The Land Of Milk & Honey/ Part 2
Germany produced a surprising amount of interesting melodic progressive bands in the post-Krautrock era including Einstein
and their 1979 killer debut 'First Principals', Memo
who released three albums and solitary efforts from Wheels
and numerous lesser-known outfits with a commercially minded outlook. Enter Wintergarden. An off-shoot of hard rocking favorites Nine Days Wonder
whose 1976 swansong 'Sonnet To Billy Frost' is the only output from the group you'll ever need; Wintergarden was essentially Bernd Unger and Walter Seyffer who by trial and error had a music-based working relationship since the late 1960's. As a rather largish band, Wintergarden released two albums on the respected Harvest label and one impossible to find indie in 1982.
'The Land of Milk & Honey' was Wintergarden's second LP and housed in a colorful gatefold sleeve with lyrics and paired with a biographical booklet it's a nice artifact from days gone by. Comparisons to Supertramp
particularly on the solid opener 'Anything Left To Share' and its keyboard line borrowed directly from 'Crime Of The Century' with the later Lucifer's Friend
albums and Triumvirat
's 'A La Carte' paralleled as well. Both Unger and Seyffer share vocal duties and although neither one of them are anything to rave about, the material saves the day with a clean radio-friendly sound. The album is wonderfully varied with sweet and simple 'Au Pair Girl' countering the delectable power pop of 'Gun That Motor, Boy!' and even a stab at ELO
styled new waviness with 'Sweet Rollin' Train'; 'The Land of Milk & Honey' might be a grab bag of styles, but it's a worthwhile venture, heck even the cover of The Beatles
'And Your Bird Can Sing' rates a big ear to ear smile.
I've seen both Harvest albums go for big bucks on collector's lists but like anything else seek and you can still find a good deal somewhere which is definitely not the case for 'Wintergarden III'. Monstrously rare, it's apparently a collection of Wintergarden demos and based on the quality of the band's previous work, finding a copy is all the more tantalizing.
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