Bend Sinister Stories Of Brothers, Tales of Lovers

Commencing with a lightly whistled melody before charging in full-bombast-ahead with an epic intro build that gives way to a series of musical nods to Queen and one not so subtle lyrical reference to the Beatles, modest goals Bend Sinister have not. They’re aiming a progressively-tinged classic rock missile squarely at listeners’ heads. "Brothers of Human Kind” calls forth some of the Who’s thunder, with pummelling drums and guitars propelling juicy organ arpeggios. Brian May seems to be a heavy influence on the lead guitarist, who rips exceptionally tasteful melody lines and leads with a tone that sounds like silk soaked in cream then lit on fire. The rock icon referencing continues with "Jimmy Brown,” a spectacular pop rock stomp that hints at the piano progression of Elton John’s "Benny and the Jets.” Bend Sinister’s magic is that they are so ridiculously proficient at every aspect of performance and composition that they’re able to absorb, digest and recreate all of these influences in uniquely familiar ways, succeeding light years beyond tepid contemporaries like Patrick Watson. It ends up sounding more like Muse minus the pretension. Stories Of Brothers, Tales of Lovers is possibly the most musically accomplished rock album by a Canadian artist this year. (Distort Light)