Bent Knee seem to recognise that explosiveness in music is better expressed through these soft-hard and slow-fast contrasts. The challenge lies in putting together these contrasts such that the music flows and doesn't get too stop-start to get into. I would venture to say Bent Knee manage this feat even better than Mars Volta. And that's not the only thing they do better than Mars Volta.
Their eclectic blend of influences, diverse enough to include moments of very jazzy piano, as well as the wide variety of instruments make their music much richer, offering a lot for repeat listens. Further, their songs are more organised, more concisely written and get to the point where Mars Volta's rambling could leave listeners lost at times. The longest track, Toothsmile, is still under seven and a half minutes.
But the music is not concise to the point of lacking breathing space either or being constructed in a predictable way. Bent Knee manage to keep the listener off balance at all times. And a significant part of the reason why is vocalist Courtney Swain I managed to write a Bent Knee review without getting to her until just now! The band's startling dynamism and explosiveness only come to fruition because she is able to straddle the gamut - from Fiona Apple to um, I don't know, Bjork?
I am struggling to think of names of female singers who have done that kind of raw screaming while still remaining largely melodic and in control with such frightening power. Maybe it's a first! Exhibit A is Being Human, where she begins with soft singing over keyboard that brings Apple to mind but the twisted chords warn us that danger is at hand and sure enough, she moves into far more violent territory. It is not violence without a cause, violence for violence's sake, though.
What I describe is violence is really an intense outpouring of anguish. The nuclear explosion is basically the venting of a raging soul. This soulfulness underpins their energy all through the album and gives it coherence.
Does the music sound this way to give voice to the lyrics rather than the other way round? I don't know that these heartfelt words would have come out better with Karen Carpenter singing them, if you get the drift. As far as standout tracks go, Being Human and Toothsmile, are my favourites. But there's plenty of keepers on this one. The wailing chorus towards the end of Battle Creek, for one, will stay with me for a long time, as also Swain's spine chilling shrieking to conclude Sunshine.
I have a bit of a problem with the flow of Skin but the rest is fine by me. Five stars without hesitation for an album quite unlike any other you are likely to have heard.
Don't let the pretty album title - or, for that matter, the charming intro that shares its name - fool you for a second: just as you think Bent Knee are going to ease up on you, they go for the kneecaps again, creating an alternatingly intoxicating and terrifying sonic landscape.
This album makes Disco Volante by Mr Bungle the closest sonic comparison I can come up with , with all of its extremes, seem like a walk in the park - and that's before you even consider the lyrics. In some of the most beautiful moments of the album, frontwoman Courtney Swain is singing to a corpse. It seems that most fellow reviewers have been commenting on the lead female vocals.
Personally, they have a Hammill-esque marmite effect on me; some seem to adore it, I feel like my ears are being gouged an hour. The singer's voice, and its subtly grating quality, combined with the generally dark subject matter and generic sounding "metal-prog" instrumental accompaniment that seems to be the rage nowadays you know which one I mean; put on just about any celebrated prog album of the 's make for an album that I really don't care to listen to again in the future.
If you enjoy Van Der Graaf Generator and darker prog, or if you like the sort of metal-ish sound that I described earlier, then this may be right up your alley. But personally I can't bring myself to give this above 2 stars.
I listen this album more than one year after their release and it was a great and nice surprise to discover the talent of this band through 13 solid and intelligent compositions. The Slow Tango. One More Colour. The White Tent The Raft. Send Me Someone to Love. Are You Burning Little Candle. An Angel Stepped Down.
Flirtin' Is a Flo-Thing. Map of the World Part II. Calling All Angels With k. Mary Had Let Me Be a Living Statue. The Great Train. The Vigil - The Sea. Calling All Angels feat. Love Is Everything - Harmony Version. Calling All Angels feat k.
Temple Ambient mix. Temple Orinoco mix. Temple Sanctuary mix. Sail Across the Water Brian Eno edit. Temple single mix. In My Dream. Oh Shenandoah Sail Away. Act 9: Imagine a World. Act 8: An Invitation to Be Well. Act 7: The Village Fair. Act 6: The Alchemy of the Everyday. Act 5: Above the Portico. Act 3: Meshach Dreams Back. Act 2: When We Are a Vampire. Act 1: Call Magic. How Beautiful Are the Feet. Sheep May Safely Graze. Everything You Knew as a Child. Dark Tent.
If God Be for Us. In the Bleak Midwinter. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming. You Say I Say. Nadie Entiende - B-Tribe -?
Fiesta Fatal! Sardonicus CD, Album. Necrophilian Bestiality. Noddin Yer Head Blues. Olen Mika Olen. Out II. Pato Macho Macho Duck. Persephone Slight Return. Phantom Power 4 - Ascension E. Please Call Somebody Else. Quando Il Sipario Schein An. Schplict - Oliver Dodd - Matopin File. Shuffle It. Smoke One With Earl. Song For The Asking. Swoop - ETC! Symphony No.
Live At The Marquee Laserdisc. Tear The Crown Of Thorns. Teenage Angst. The Bomb. The End. The Merrygoround. The Walk. TVE - Untitled Cassette. Unorchestrated Live. Walkin This Boogie. Willow Weep For Me. Marks of the Masochist. To Shape the End 5. You Will Be Forgotten Too 6. More depressive black metal. Jane Siberry. Authority control MBRG : dabfae-afd77be. Hidden categories: Articles lacking sources from December All articles lacking sources Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Articles with hAudio microformats Album infoboxes lacking a cover Album articles lacking alt text for covers Articles with album ratings that need to be turned into prose Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz release group identifiers.
Introspection Late Night Partying.
Various - Drug Skill (Vinyl, LP), Train - Various - Thrilled By Dearth (CDr), Rencontre - Michel Legrand - La Piscine (CD), II) Variazioni - BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Rimsky- Korsakov* / Mussorgsky* - Introduct, Hope - Wim Mertens - After Virtue (CD, Album), The Rebel (JD Twitchs Gris Gris Optimo Mix) - Various - What We Did During The Week...2006 (CD), September Blues - Claude Luter - New Orleans Jazz (Vinyl, LP), Pieseň Za Korunu - Peter Nagy - Alboom (Best Of) (CD), Larger Than Life (Jack D. Elliot Radio Mix), Reinvention - Symmetry (4) - Junky (File, MP3, Album), Lo Mejor De Sevilla - Gracia Montes - Lo Mejor De Gracia Montes (Vinyl, LP)