Ashley Wadhwani, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω
Bend Sinister’s recent album Animals is creative and breaks the boundaries of the preconceived dos and don’ts of music today. With that said, it takes a particular ear to love them.
From a musical standpoint, the unpredictability you find in their instrumental contrasts their easy-to-follow lyrics. “Best of You” acts as an eight-minute journey, transitioning from an up-beat, pump-up anthem to a sadder and softer ballad. Both sides of the song share the same message in two different and powerful ways, but together lose their potential effect. Although the creativity is interesting and diverse, it would be better divided.
Dan Moxon nails it on the vocals, knowing when to show restraint and when to give it all he’s got – a talent.
“Better Things To Do” is very sound rich with Jason Dana taking the road of unpredictability at numerous points on the drums. Although creative, this song is one to listen to but not dance to, and while being musically impressive, it falls short when it comes to entering hit-song material for the average listener.
According to the press release, Animals was recorded with Joe Marlett who has produced an array of different genres, including Queens of the Stone Age, and the production quality makes this album sound excellent.
Like Queens of the Stone Age, Bend Sinister pushes the threshold of rock, particularly in “Thunder and Lightning” where things get a little dark but maintain a catchy beat and take a modern twist on traditional rock. The demonic voice at the end is a great reminder that music doesn’t have to be so serious all the time, a theme Bend Sinister carries throughout the album.
“Seventeen” takes first place for the best balance of creativity and hit song potential. A song about a girl wanting to be took home, with the gritty and grungy feel of the rock and roll lifestyle is classic. But of course, the unpredictable way Bend Sinister executes their rhythm in “Seventeen” makes it memorable.
Animals ends with “It Will Never End,” sharing a more typical sound, which isn’t a bad thing. Knowing the band is dynamic and fluid means that we can expect the next album to blow us away with surprise twists while being supported by a solid musical foundation.
“As much as possible, we let go of any preconceptions over how we think we should sound as a band and just let the songs come out,” said Joseph Blood, guitarist of Bend Sinister in their press release. Animals deserves high praise and respect for risky decisions and not worrying about judgment, but is certainly not for everyone.
If you like innovative, unpredictable and fun rock with a high priority on instrumental sound over vocals and lyrics, or want to jam out to something a little different, then Animals is a must-listen.