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Bent Knee: Land Animal

The fourth album from American art rockers Bent Knee finds them in typically ebullient form, a collection of songs not particularly interested in playing by anyone's rules but their own, amassed to become Land Animal. Having jumped ship from Cuneiform Records to Inside Out (after two early self released efforts), there's a feel that this band might just be ready to break their waves across broader shores. If there's one thing that is undoubtedly in their favour it's the gloriously rich tones of front lady Courntey Swain, who is also the band's keyboard player. Just the right side of quirky and cooky in her vocal delivery, the power and charisma in her style is enough to turn your head until your neck strains. There's also a suggestion that she possesses a devil may careness in her attitude that might just take her to mainstream success, if not the stardom of the super kind.

However this isn't a solo venture, the other five members of Bent Knee equally skilled at their chosen specialist subject, although without possibly the same crossover appeal. That the band met and formed at Berklee College of Music should give you an idea of the talent on show, although it will also possibly give a hint of the lack of compromise. "Holy Ghost" may well be the exception, it's hardly a bubblegum pop hit, but with a cheeky riff and the merest hint of Rush at their synthiest, there's a more obvious way in than this band often care for. "Insides In" hits like an ambient-Haken hybrid, drama and atmosphere colliding in a smush of small intricacies and huge set plays. It's both inviting and stand offish at the same time. Whereas the title track flits between Bjork-like crazy and James Bond theme tune although if 007 was to be found chasing the bad guys to this soundtrack, there's a good chance he'd end up both shaken and stirred.

Equal measures of prog, avant, jazz and art rock are to be found as you flit across the bizarre terrain that this Land Animal grazes upon, Bent Knee often making their way through a vast expanse of variance from moment to fleeting moment. At times it can be a dazzling array of lights floating across the sky, although on occasion at can be more rabbits in the full beam. Leaving you with the choice to be staring agog in wonder, or in complete terror.

Track Listing
1. Terror Bird
2. Hole
3. Holy Ghost
4. Insides In
5. These Hands
6. Land Animal
7. Time Deer
8. Belly Side Up

9. The Well

10. Boxes

Bonus Tracks

11. Way Too Long (Sylvia Massy Treatment)

12. Land Animal (Ben Levin Remix)

Added: June 17th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Land Animal on bandcamp
Hits: 355
Language: english

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