Bent Knee – Land Animal
Art Rock | Alternative
Even music blogs that pride themselves in keeping their finger on the pulse can occasionally miss an absolute gem of an album. That was the case last year when Boston band Bent Knee’s album Say So slipped past the radar. If I had only discovered the band sooner it would probably have made my top albums of the year. I sure as hell wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. The fact that Land Animal is their first record with leading prog label Inside Out has done nothing to damper the band’s creativity and their trademark eccentric sound. There is hands-down no other album this year that will take you on such a wild, thrilling and utterly bewildering journey as this.
The apocalyptic intro of the title track somehow weaves a path through off-kilter jazz to a soaring orchestral crescendo. ‘Hole’ sounds like a Florence Welch fronted Flaming Lips dabbling with metal, while ‘Insides In’ strips back the insanity in its mellow beginnings, but the tension soon builds and in the latter few minutes it just becomes an absolute force of nature. ‘Belly Side Up’ has plenty of pop friendly panache, and on ‘Holy Ghost’ Courtney Swain’s vocals really steal the show. I’m ready and willing to fight anyone that would dare question the fact that she is one of the finest singers around, and it takes a full band of incredibly adept musicians to keep pace. Normally it’s a given that an experimental album such as this is going to be hit-and-miss, but Land Animal nails it with every track. Mind-blowingly diverse and engaging, yet accessible enough for anyone to join the ride, Bent Knee have really upped their game!