Bent Knee
You Know What They Mean

1. Lansing
2. Bone Rage
3. Give Us The Gold
4. Hold Me In
5. Egg Replacer
6. Cradle Of Rocks
7. Lovell
8. lovemenot
9. Bird Song
10. Catch Light
11. Garbage Shark
12. Golden Hour
13. It Happens

Chris Baum – violin, vocals
Jessica Kion – bass, vocals
Ben Levin – guitar, vocals
Courtney Swain, lead vocals, keyboards
Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth – Drums
Vince Welch – sound design, production

Bent Knee (2011)
Shiny Eyed Babies (2014)
Say So (2016)

Land Animal (2017)



Released 2019-10-11
Reviewed 2019-11-25



The guys with their knees bent return with a fifth album, or a fifth instalment of their artistry depending on how you want to view it. Their latest album was quite interesting but I don’t think that it was as good as it should have been considering how the band isn’t confined by genre conventions or boxes. They move freely throughout and this time they have drawn experiences from things like their tour bus flipping over during tour in the United States, no one got hurt but it was probably some experience anyway. So You Know What They Mean is what they claim as a title for this album, the question is; do you know whay they mean?

Not easy to describe when it comes to musical style as they draw inspirations from everywhere and nowhere, almost any genre as well as no genre would work to describe this album. The female vocals from Claire Swain are really good, passionate and captivating. But at first I thought this album was just a cacophony of noise, influences that didn’t amount to anything put on record for some strange reason. But give the album a few spins and the opinion chances to something more interesting, a varied musical journey taking you everywhere and nowhere at the same time, an album that is always going somewhere and never just stays stagnant in the same place. The playing time and variation seems sensible and the sound is pretty fresh and unique so if you are looking for novel approaches these guys is a good choice.

A good album, it requires that you listen in order to hear that quality as it can appear quite bad at first glance. So it is an album that grows on you and each time you play you will notice new details and nuances that add to the experience of listening to the album. It is not an album to have as background music when painting a wall or driving your car on an icy road somewhere in the less populated areas of the world. I think that this time they are better than last time and more akin to what I thought they should have been with the last album I wrote about. I recommend having a look at this one if you prefer music you haven’t heard before.

It is funny how some albums work; I was ready to dismiss this one as one of the worst of the year when listening for the first time. But then it has grown on me and I consider it to be a highlight of this year, a great album that dares to think outside the box and dares to defy conventions. I like it when the music is challenging and exciting rather than familiar and predictable, this album is one of those albums. I may not really know what they mean but why care when it sounds this good?





Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Björk/Jefferson Airplane/King Crimson

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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