Sjak : The new Dutch melodic hard rock band Hardland is started as the collaboration between singer/bass player Paul Evers and singer/guitarist Aeilko Venema when they wrote the song ‘The Only Answer’ together. At that moment they absolutely didn’t have the idea to start up a band together, but their musical taste and interests matched in such a way, that they continued to write and record more songs together. Because of the fact that the immediate surrounding reacted very positively on what both gentlemen had to offer, the call to actually release this material become stronger and stronger.
A first video-clip was recorded (‘Hot Gypsy’) with the help of a number of befriended stand-in musicians, but soon it became clear that a real band needed to be formed and so drummer Eric Gijsen and keyboard player Marco Kuijper were recruited and as such the band Hardland became a fact. The eponymously entitled debut album contains ten tracks which are all characterized by a certain maturity, strong guitar work and a crystal clear production. Also the vocals are, certainly for Dutch standards, above average although there is a clear Dutch accent present. That doesn’t take anything away from the fact that tunes like the already mentioned ‘Hot Gypsy’, the instrumental ‘Interstellar Traveler’, ‘Say It’ and ‘Anyway You Want It’ are very enjoyable to listen to, although that account for the whole album as a matter of fact. It would take things way too far to categorize this Hardland debut album as a sensational release, but the fact is that they’ve been able to bring a very enjoyable first record to market.