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Bent Knee

Crossover Prog

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Bent Knee Land Animal album cover
3.92 | 111 ratings | 2 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Terror Bird (4:09)
2. Hole (3:22)
3. Holy Ghost (5:33)
4. Insides In (6:30)
5. These Hands (5:37)
6. Land Animal (5:14)
7. Time Deer (4:19)
8. Belly Side Up (4:15)
9. The Well (5:31)
10. Boxes (12:44)

Total Time 57:14

Bonus tracks on 2017 SE :
11. Way Too Long (Sylvia Massy treatment) (5:20)
12. Land Animal (Ben Levin remix) (4:40)

Line-up / Musicians

- Courtney Swain / lead vocals, keyboards
- Ben Levin / guitar, backing vocals
- Chris Baum / violin
- Jessica Kion / bass, backing vocals
- Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth / drums
- Vince Welch / sound design, producer & mixer

- Abby Swidler / violin
- Nathan Cohen / violin
- Sue Buzzard / violin
- Anna Stromer / viola
- Rebecca Hallowell / viola
- Ben Swartz / cello
- Nick Dinnerstein / cello
- Christian Marrero / trumpet

Releases information

Artwork: Riki Nitabaru

CD Inside Out Music ‎- 88985421002 (2017, US)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 479 (2017, Europe) SE with 2 bonus tracks

LP + CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLP 479 (2017, Europe) Full album on both media with 2 bonus tracks only on CD

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy BENT KNEE Land Animal Music

BENT KNEE Land Animal ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

BENT KNEE Land Animal reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Boston-based many-dimensional progressive rockers BENT KNEE are back with their fourth album. This one feels less hurried and far more mature than their previous effort, 2016's Say So. This is a band that is not only clicking on all cylinders, it is composing and playing at such a high level that it often takes many listens to hear all of the band member's contributions. That is one reason why this June release only receives my review posting in November.

1. "Terror Bird" (4:11) Great opening song! Opens with a weave of staccato sounds coming from many instruments-- a feature which turns out to be the foundation for all but the choruses when chords and volumes amp up. The use of strings in support in the second section and choruses is a nice effect. Courtney's voice is as dynamic and under- the-skin insistent as ever. Awesome! (9/10)

2. "Hole" (3:21) quirky and industrial, combining some 80s and 90s sound styles with an almost Oriental melodic palette. The music could even befit a soundtrack to a Japanese animation. But, once again, the lead vocal brings us back to Kansas. (or is it Oz?) Another instance where I am dumbfounded and astounded at this band's creative expression. (8.5/10)

3. "Holy Ghost" (5:33) amazing song construction, vocal, and drumming. This band is so tight! (9/10)

4. "Insides In" (6:29) a much more sedate and smooth opening feels and sounds good for a change. Courtney opens with a bluesy/torch song vocal styling--carrying it forward into the chorus--before piano and strings bridge us back to the A section. Strings, piano, and drum incidentals are so marvelous! Such a polished, carefully planned and executed song. This band is so at their peak! I would love to hear more music like this from them. The second half of the song has us waiting suspensefully before a series of dramatically-spaced and wonderfully effective monster hits from guitar, bass and drum bring us fully into the cinematic prog world--which only continues as the music ramps up to a kind of crescendo of sustained tension before collapsing into odd animal-industrial sounds. (10/10)

5. "These Hands" (5:36) opens as if bleeding over from the previous song but then deftly, easily, switches into an entirely different kind of music and song. Pizzicato strings and jazz percussion support Courtney's jazzy piano and vocal. Truly a stunning song of highly complex progressive rock music. (10/10)

6. "Land Animal" (5:13) opens with a very theatric, cinematic pomposity. Vocal chorus joins in the second round, then things quiet down for the entrance of the lead vocal. The quiet spacey "sending out a message" section in the third and fourth minutes is my favorite part. Then a strings-supported true electric lead guitar solo! (A rare thing for this band!) Nice section. (9/10)

7. "Time Deer" (4:19) a fairly straightforward rock start becomes complicated by Courtney's vocal, and the slightly off-center syncopation of the guitars, bass, strings and drums. Interesting. Courtney's vocals are so powerful that I fear that we come to take them for granted: she is always amazing and, I believe, inimitable (and this despite my deafness to lyrics and their meanings). (8.5/10)

8. "Belly Side Up" (4:15) such a different song--could come from the 1940s or 50s with its poppy effects, sharp orchestration, "old" guitar sound, and, of course, "school girl" background vocal choir. (8/10)

9. "The Well" (5:30) a song that, unfortunately, feels like we've heard it before ("Holy Ghost" and "These Hands"). Luckily, I love the sassy-seductress vocal. (A little Piaf?) The second half with its interplay of polyrhythms is very cool.(8.5/10)

10. "Boxes" (12:44) opens like a Peter Gabriel soundscape. Awesome drum, bass, and atmospherics. Courtney's voice enters at her most seductive. The song floats along like as if we're laying in a boat looking at the night sky while riding the softly rolling waters of the lake/harbor beneath us "I made it to the twenty-first century" is such and awesome line! Percussive and tuned and computerized incidentals pepper, dot, and streak the instrumental sky between vocal sections and to the end where Gavin's rock-steady, impeccable beats play out far into the finish. What an awesome song! What an awesome end to the album! (9.5/10)

Five stars; another masterpiece of truly progressive rock music from these young masters of 21st Century art.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. I just can't pull the trigger on 4 stars but I do feel this is an improvement on the previous album "Say So". Of course the standard when it comes to this band from Boston is their 2014 release called "Shiny Eyed Babes" and I really feel that can't be repeated considering the subject matter. They sort of tried that with "Say So" and it failed in my opinion. "Land Animal" has a theme to it apparently as the band looks at the modern human condition and while they are at it they take us back to where we evolved from the ocean(haha). Sorry I find evolution to be one of the most ridiculous subjects out there. Yup a big explosion caused what we see on Earth today(haha). Yeah it's a theory only and not a good one. Anyway I like the fact that they slow things down here at times, I like the atmosphere but I also miss the power from that 2014 release. Not big on the many light- hearted moments either. We get several guests adding violas, violins, cellos and a trumpet.

"Terror Bird" gets us started as a beat and guitar lead the way as the vocals join in. This will be contrasted with the more powerful vocal led sections. Check out those vocal melodies before 4 minutes. "Hole" has this rhythm that sort of starts and stops as the vocals join in. I like that powerful sound before 1 1/2 minutes with those insane vocal melodies.

"Holy Ghost" is a strange title for a song considering the subject matter. It's mellow to start with relaxed vocals before it starts to build. A catchy and bouncy sound arrives after 2 minutes with vocals, then back to that powerful sound from earlier. "Insides In" is quite laid back with reserved vocals at first. Strings before 2 minutes. A calm 3 minutes in before a powerful atmosphere kicks in just before 4 minutes. Love those vocal melodies after 5 minutes. We get an experimental ending.

"These Hands" has this catchy and simple melody as vocals join in. I like when she starts to sing with more passion. A feel good passage right here. She's singing even more powerfully before 3 minutes. A calm follows before it kicks back in. Another experimental ending. "Land Animal" is powerful to begin with along with some great sounding atmosphere. It settles with vocals a minute in. Not into this as contrasts continue. I do like the section 3 minutes in as it's quite powerful with vocals. Strings follow.

"Time Deer" is catchy with vocals contrasted with a feel good section also with vocals. There's always vocals(haha). Strings after 2 minutes then rumbling drums. The power is back 3 minutes in. "Belly Side Up" has intricate sounds and vocals to start. Strings will join in. I'm not into the multi- vocal sections. Hey some electric guitar after 3 minutes but it's brief. Some rare organ as well follows to the end.

"The Well" is light and humerous with vocals. I'm not into this at all. Some heavier sounds will eventually arrive, strings too. Some power after 4 minutes then back to the silliness. "Boxes" is easily my favourite track on here. What a change in sound though. Atmosphere and a beat to start as relaxed vocals join in. Man this sounds so good a minute in. Lots of space, a nice change of pace.

I enjoyed this album for the most part but this might be where I get off. "Shiny Eyed Babies" will always cause me to respect this band though.

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