BEND SINISTER play the Horseshoe October 6. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Progressive pop band Bend Sinister haven't released a full-length album since 2008 , but that was never due to a lack of new songs. The Vancouver four-piece instead chose to stay out on the road and roll out EP after EP, the latest as recently as March of this year.
Small Fame, their long-awaited third LP, comes hot on its heels, and features just two of On My Mind's songs. That my favourite, The Road Divided, didn't make the cut goes to show how consistently strong singer/pianist Dan Moxon is as a songwriter.
On Small Fame, he cherry-picks the best aspects of Supertramp, Billy Joel, Queen and even Iron Maiden, then adds his huge voice and woozy keyboards overtop. Meanwhile, his bandmates throw in glammy guitar solos, crushing drums and thunderous bass lines.
Does it occasionally cross into cheese? Yes. (See Hot Blooded Man, My Lady). Mostly, though, it's anthemic, heart-bursting, whiplashingly ambitious music that gives everything they've got.
Top track: One Shot