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Bent Knee - You Know What They Mean CD (album) cover

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN

Bent Knee

 

Crossover Prog

3.99 | 103 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars The avant prog Berklee grads are back with their first really refreshingly new and idiosyncratic album since 2014's masterpiece, Shiny Eyed Babies. And what a welcomed sound it is!

1. "Lansing" (1:22) a weird mic outtake from some concert on one of their tours. Not sure why or what it means.

2. "Bone Rage" (4:13) despite the roiling opening, this one kicks in like an early RUSH song--but it's trumped by Courtney's vocal and some of the other unexpected shifts in directions that the band and the music takes. (8.5/10)

3. "Give Us the Gold" (3:51) near-disco electro-pulse opens the song before a heavily effected guitar strum opens the door for Courtney's vocal performance to enter. For the first minute it's pretty much her voice and some occasional bass and click track, but then everybody kicks in, each instrument contributing something unique, creative, and bold. The band comes together for each "give us the gold" chorus but then scatters to canvass a wide spectrum of sounds. Such an unusual sound and rhythm palette! Bravo! for your courage and confidence! My first top three song. (9.5/10)

4. "Hold Me In" (4:50) Courtney's heavily reverbed voice is still singing all-out despite being mixed a little more within (or behind) the rhythm instruments. The band is very busy with many layers of information noodling in and out and around Courtney--but it all somehow blends together so well. I think because the melody line of the chorus is so powerful. There is a dreamy section in the second half which provides some great contextual perspective from the heavier, more dynamic sections before and after. (9/10

5. "Egg Replacer" (3:10) founded on an odd rhythm as produced by an unusual combination of percussion instruments. As the choruses build a cool and unique plus one of layers start to finish of each. (8/10)

6. "Cradle of Rocks" (4:00) part BLONDIE, part TOM TOM CLUB and TALKING HEADS, this is a hard rocker with a techno edge to it over which Courtney's heavily reverbed voice is tucked back in the mix. (She still manages to steal the show due to her full on 100 decibels voice.) (9/10)

7. "Lovell" (1:27) I love these little cut outs from crowd interactions during their concert tours. I'd love to know the reasons they chose the ones they did.

8. "lovemenot" (5:10) opens like something from THE BEATLES Revolver and remains bass heavy throughout. (8.75/10)

9. "Bird Song" (2:56) so raw and unadulterated--as if Vince just happened to catch Courtney playing at the piano while she was trying out some new song for her next solo album. Very cool! I love this song and the authenticity of the raunchy, choppy sound. (9.25/10)

10. "Catch Light" (4:39) opens a little like Madonna's "Justify my Love" before the heavy power chords of the second minute. The contributions from each and every one of the instruments on this song are remarkable and fascinating throughout. Courtney's singing is actually the rock that holds it all together. Cool! Genius! Top three song for me. (10/10)

11. "Garbage Shark" (5:38) rolling single note bass and plucked violin with heavily effected guitar form the sparse background over which Courtney sings in a very ethereal, delicate voice--until the heavy chorus sections, the final one of which is particularly powerful. Very psychedelic. (9/10)

12. "Golden Hour" (5:51) a little MEW, a little ANATHEMA, an extraordinary song. Top three for me. (10/10)

13. "It Happens" (5:05) sets up as a kind of quirky New Wave jazz tune (Arto Lindsay & The Ambitious Lovers come to mind)--very engaging and relaxed with a kind of relaxed Ska beat and dissonant de-tuned instrumental tapestry. So cool! A dream sequence in the middle that is very pleasant and effective. (9.5/10)

Total Time 52:12

I love this album! I love this new direction the band has chosen! I endorse this wholeheartedly. Bravo and kudos Courtney, Ben, Jessica, Chris, Gavin, and Vince!

Five stars; a minor masterpiece of refreshing new and creative modern progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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