Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bent Knee, Say So

Oh, something different. Something really good. A group named Bent Knee. Their 3rd album, called Say So (Cuneiform Rune 417). The main vocalist (is it Courtney Swain?) is filled with the spirit of song, emotions that reflect a postmodern alienation. (Is that it? It is not a typical expression in the lyric and projection. It's part of what makes this group and album special. I cannot give it a worthy name. It is self-introspective, oddly abstract surreal in concrete ways, and the world outside of self seems pretty uninterested in the inner struggle?) It can be like that so they capture a new loneliness that comes of techno-isolation?

The arrangements are really fresh and unexpected. They climax when you do not expect them to and do so with vocal-instrumental singularity. And then it goes up another notch and you did not expect that.  There is a band in there that is disciplined. Nice guitar-vocal interplays, fully orchestral keys, drums not stuck in a rut, some real soundscapy moments of beauty. And it's the careful brilliance of the flow that makes it so, like POSTMODERN? No,  POSTPOST. Heavy when you least expect it, transparent in moments, then heavy again. Ironic and obliquely assuming the other but not connect to him or her except in fleeting moments?

The structure of the band's routines and the wonderful vocal placements. Not Imogen Heap but something equally vocally interesting. Like what my dad said about the last World Series he watched before he died. "The pitchers and the catchers...". Well, yes, it's like that. You can label it but it goes considerably beyond what you can name, for now. The pitchers and the catchers....the routines and their placement. Like that.

This album floors me. It is so fully itself and successfully so that you cannot map out a song before you hear it and some groups get that kind of predictability now and again.

"Every lawn is green, every fence is white, and you're the only one I see when I close my eyes." Poetic weirdness, evocative imagery in the lyrics and then a damned ton of power from the band obliterates the delicacy for a while because life is getting in the way again?

This is a rock album of the year for me so far. Maybe the? Maybe! It is a game-interrupter. The damndest music I've heard in a long time....

Oh, they are touring the US this October, opening for Dillinger Escape Plan. Check the net.

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