Boston based Bent Knee blend jazz, post rock, epic and chamber pop. Think Chrome Hoof, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble with a London Grammar huge pop punch. Moving to Inside Out Music for their fourth full length Land Animal boasts this grandeur more than ever, switching between huge jazzed up Muse-like chorus chords and delicate indie pop. Hair-raising.
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We’ve promised you some strange things in our commercial lifespan, but I’m willing to bet that this is the weirdest: an album description that compares a band to both the The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and London Grammar. In the same sentence. I simply must investigate further what it is that Bent Knee are doing on ‘Land Animal’ to provoke such imagination; the band’s assimilation of smooth jazz and pop into post-rock is one thing, but this is another entirely.
What Bent Knee do is both create and disrupt pronounced anthems -- listening even to this record’s opener shows off a band whose piano chords strike deeply, whose production spans lushly and whose climaxes are gorgeously overwrought. It also shows off a band who stutter on purpose, removing themselves from the crux as it happens, spiralling back out of their big choruses for a moment of tension-raising trepidation. On “Hole”, they match off a chunky riff with a sparser chorus of twinkling guitars, which give way to drum machines and oscillating metal chugs. Between twee-dom and horror, they make a record over-seasoned with progginess.
Bless this mess; ‘Land Animal’ is worth a listen if you want your euphoria to come as a total surprise. Bent Knee’s arrangements will never, as long as they live, reveal their next move to you. They sleuth between baroque arrangements and slapstick grooves on “Holy Ghost”, sweep a symphony away in jazz-metal exhibition on “These Hands” and do tech metal in tribute to BADBADNOTGOOD on their title track. This record is all over the place at the speed of light.
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