Bend Sinister is great band out of British Columbia that combines Classic Hard Rock, Indie Rock, and whether the band wants to admit it or not, Progressive Rock. The underground band just started getting some real recognition from their last album, Small Fame back in 2012 when drummer Mike Portnoy picked up on the band and showed interest. They are back with their 5th album (and 9th release overall), Animals, and it really is a fantastic showcase of how a band can show their diversity all while having it making sense.
The album starts off with the longest song on the album, Best Of You, which is a fantastic eight and a half minute masterpiece which takes you on a journey of sound. The lyrics are very inspirational and positive, which is missing in a lot of Rock music now a days. The first of two two main lyrical lines that are repeated is "This world ain't seen the best of you yet." A good message of keeping on, keeping on. With that message, the first half of the song is very upbeat with lots of great guitar and keyboard interludes. The second half of the song gets very slow and dramatic. throughout the second half of the song the only phrase sung is "And the world It brings you down. Keep your head up high and your feet on the ground." The more the phrase gets repeated, the more the song grows to be more and more epic and grand until it reaches it's climax of sound and brings you back down to the world (Ah ha, get it?). While a song like this would be best set for the end of an album, the band ahs said they chose this to be the first song because they feel it is the best son on the album and they want everyone to hear it. And a great choice that was.
Now onto the rest of the album. Fancy Pants is the next song up, and it is very much a type of Indie Rock and Classic Rock song. Very upbeat with big choruses and even a trumpet in the song. During the middle of the song is slows down for a big "La La La" sing a long section and ends just as upbeat as it began. I Got Love is the equivalent of the scene in The Blues Brothers where Joliet Jake Blues becomes Born Again and dances in the Gospel Church. This song even features a Gospel Choir in sections. A very fun song to headbang to if your a rocker, and dance to if you can dance. Better Things To Do is another throw back to the Indie Rock/Pop Rock sound. The lyrics also have the same feel to it as well. It's a good mellow song after the speed of the last couple songs. Thunder And Lightning is the heaviest song on the album by far. The song is pure 70s Hard Rock in the vein of Deep Purple. It starts off with a Judas Priest style intro much like The Hellion segues into Electric Eye. From that point on it's pure Deep Purple and so cool. Fast, heavy, great 70s style vocals. The next song, Teacher, also goes into the 70's Hard Rock vibe. It starts off mellow with keyboard chords and builds up into a blazing Rock song. It resonates well as a mix between Deep Purple and Boston. It's safe to say that almost every song on the second half of the album has a deep love for 70s Hard Rock and Deep Purple. The song, Seventeen, also showcases this point very well. A slower track then the previous few, but very heavy Hard Rock with the Deep Purple keys. The album takes a break from the Hard Rock vibe and goes back into Indie Rock territory with the song You Remind Me. Even if you aren't into Indie music, the lyrics are very relatable when you hear them, especially if you are starting relationships. Through The Week is the slowest song on the album and a great ballad. Very piano driven and just a great lay back and chill song. It again harkens to the Classic Rock sound with their ballads. The album closes with the song It Will Never End, a great ending song to close the album. it starts upbeat and kinda Indie but a great heavy beat behind it so even rockers can really appreciate it. Just as you think the song is done it ends on the heaviest riff of the entire album. While short, it is almost as if they decided to be a Speed Metal band for a few seconds and then doing a proper grandiose ending to close out this killer album.
It is easy to see why Prog fans are drawn to Bend Sinister. they don't just stick to one genre. While the band does not consider itself Prog, you can at least say they are very diverse and bring a lot of different offerings to the table. Whether you have a love for Classic Hard Rock, like Indie Rock, or just like music that has a lot of style changes all while making it sound like it fits. Bend Sinister is the band for you. And support these guys if you dig them. They are awesome guys that deserve all the attention they can get.
Bend Sinister- Animals available NOW via FILE UNDER MUSIC
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.