Land Animal (PRE-ORDER 6/23 STREET DATE)

WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING PREORDERS FOR THE STANDARD JEWEL BOX EDITION OF BENT KNEE'S "LAND ANIMAL"  STREET DATE IS SET FOR JUNE 23RD.  PLEASE DO NOT COMBINE YOUR PREORDER WITH YOUR REGULAR ORDER AS IT WILL ONLY DELAY PROCESSING.

"Boston art-rock sextet acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, NPR, and BBC release fourth album of expansive songcraft.

Bent Knee is unlike any band you’ve ever heard. Its borderless sound combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole. Its new album Land Animal—Bent Knee’s first for InsideOut/Sony—takes its sound to a new level. It offers a suite of songs full of addictive hooks, lush melodies and enthralling twists and turns that capture the reality of life in the 21st Century—a reality of people and nations in the midst of tumultuous change. It also communicates a ray of hope and desire for listeners to embrace the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles.

“The silo-smashing Bent Knee’s unique mix is equal parts ingenuity and deliciousness,” said Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal in 2016 when he first heard the group. “Bent Knee breaks new stylistic and temperamental ground,” declared Steve Smith of The Boston Globe. Other media outlets worldwide have reacted with similar enthusiasm, including NPR and the BBC, which have featured the band.

Bent Knee formed in 2009 as a democratic collective determined to push the boundaries of pop and rock. Lead singer and keyboardist Courtney Swain’s soaring vocals are instantly arresting. Guitarist Ben Levin is one of the most dynamic and versatile guitarists around, shifting between the raging and raucous to the sublime and meditative. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth combine into an enthralling rhythm section that’s equal parts powerhouse and nuance. Violinist Chris Baum’s kinetic violin work provides drama, grace and intrigue. World-class producer and live sound designer Vince Welch weaves it all together with a captivating, expert touch.

The band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Its last two albums, 2016’s Say So and 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed hundreds of shows across the world to date. During the fall of 2016, the band played for ecstatic audiences as an opener for the U.S. leg of The Dillinger Escape Plan's farewell tour.

With Land Animal, Bent Knee has elevated its storytelling ambitions to create narratives that reflect and refract the currents we’re exposed to in the news every day.

“We’re at this bizarre point in history when our species can almost actively play God,” explained Baum, when discussing the themes running through the album. “We’re getting closer and closer through communication and technology. On the flip side, we still have many primal urges that have yet to evolve. There’s a strange balance between our technology and our biology that’s tremendously difficult to find. Land Animal explores where those animalistic urges come from and how we can harness and transform them to create a better reality.”

“The album has all kinds of songs about struggle,” added Levin. “We look at global warming, family strife, technology-mediated relationships, racism, and societal polarization. Each song is imbued with a dichotomy between who we are now as a species and where we’re going.”

As the band hits the road in support of the album, it intends to explore the diversity of thought amongst its ever-growing audience in a world where it's increasingly easy to live inside one's echo chamber of ideologies.

“I think our music is powerful and capable of uniting people with different perspectives,” said Kion. “They may think about things differently, but they’re there together, part of the concert. The fact that music and art can bring people together in that way is a really significant force that’s needed right now.”

“We haven’t made a political album with Land Animal,” said Wallace-Ailsworth. “However, it’s definitely motivated by the difficult state of the world at the moment. If people are able to take some comfort in our music or create dialog through it, those are great things for us.”

Like the band’s previous work, Land Animal is full of fresh, sophisticated arrangements and beautiful vocal harmonies, but it’s also its most direct statement to date.

“It’s a really juicy and immediate album,” said Swain. “With our previous album Say So, I think it took people a few listens to absorb its themes. That’s not the case with Land Animal, which delivers more instant gratification.”

“We tried to balance that with an appealing narrative arc,” said Welch. “The album starts with ‘Terror Bird,’ a song about individuals and communication issues and ends with ‘Boxes,’ a song that explores the fact that we’re all marching towards our own demise, so we better make the most of the time we have. Land Animal is an epic journey.”

At the end of the day, the band believes strongly in music as a force for positive change and delivering ideas no other medium is capable of.

“We believe music is the most efficient way to get a point across,” said Baum. “The only way to cut through the noise of a confused, globalized world is to create something that speaks directly to the soul, and that’s what we hope we’ve done with Land Animal.”"

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  • "Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. The Boston-based group seamlessly connects the worlds of rock, pop and the avant-garde into its own self-defining statement.On its third release (and Cuneiform debut) Say So, the band focuses on the sound of surprise. It’s rock for the thinking person. The group’s lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It’s a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.Bent Knee is a true collective. The band operates as a democratic entity with sky-high standards and a determination to push boundaries. The group has remained on a skyward trajectory since forming in 2009. Its last two albums, 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies and its self-titled 2011 release, have been celebrated as significant art-rock achievements by important music publications, including Consequence of Sound, The Needle Drop, Innerviews, and Eclipsed. The group has performed more than 300 shows across the U.S., Canada and Japan to date and will embark on its first European tour this year. They’ve also headlined at major festivals and venues including The Lincoln Center, ROSfest, Tulsa Center of the Universe, and Campbell Bay Music Fest.The group are quite singular in their combination of accessibility and envelope-pushing. “What Bent Knee does is fuse the most extreme ends of pop and avant-garde music together,” says Welch. “We feel those things aren’t nearly as mutually exclusive as most people think.”"
    $15.00
  • Domestic jewel box edition has the identical contents to the European version."Tim Bowness, one of the most expressive voices in contemporary music returns with the second chapter of his brand new, solo sonic experiments. Released roughly a year after Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, Stupid Things That Mean The World can be seen as a direct follow-up that not only manages to consolidate his strengths, but also takes a step forward towards new territories. I was anxious to hear the results as the man never fails to create something interesting and gripping (at the very least).Although a sequel, STTMTW contrasts its predecessor in both the atmosphere it creates, as well as the emotions it evokes. Since the production is substantially airier this time around, it manages to unfold quicker than ADD, creating shorter, but profound tunes. We get cuts like the title track or 'Where You've Always Been' whose playful, sustained rhythms bring forth quite an unusual, uplifting side of Bowness we rarely get to see. However, this is only a part of a darker record that often feels tensed and frustrated. The characters he portrays have missed several opportunities over the years, feel overwhelmed by life, ugly or devoid of any feelings that once made them feel alive. The most representative numbers are 'The Great Electric Teenage Dream' and 'Press Reset'. There's anger in the powerful guitars and regret in the nostalgic piano lines, whereas the cold, industrial touch present especially on the latter, magnifies this uneasy vibe. Tim also delivers his parts with a poignant tone, boosting the tracks with some of his heaviest hitting moments.On the other side of the spectrum, we have two of the most gorgeous, subdued tracks on the album, 'Sing To Me' and 'Know That You Were Loved' lying in between the aforementioned rockers. They are a lot more comfortable for older fans as each shares similarities with previous helmed projects. 'Sing To Me' stemmed from a 20-year old No-Man demo, entitled 'Best Boy Electric', recorded somewhere in the middle of Wild Opera's recording sessions. Tim reworked it and created a lovely ballad with eerie guitar leads, warm bass and echoed piano lines. Sound-wise, it reminisces 'Smiler at 50' from ADD. 'Know That You Were Loved' is a mostly acoustic affair that brings to mind the low-key No-Man album, Together We're Stranger. Occasional lap steel touches and guitar solos embellish the stripped foundation, yet his voice is once more the focal point.There is a dark appeal to Stupid Things That Mean The World that some might or might not be fond of. Abandoned Dancehall Dreams was a melancholic yet grandiose affair that was easier to wrap your head around. This time, the often bare bones instrumentals push Tim's vocal melodies in front, usually focusing more on the lyrical content than the music itself. Moreover, helped by some elite members of the British nu-prog/art rock wave such as Bruce Soord of Pineapple Thief (who also produced the album), Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, long time collaborators Stephen Bennet, Phil Manzanera and Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson, Michael Bearpark or the classical composer Andrew Keeling (among others), Bowness has managed to avoid repetition and create a piece of work that truly complements its prequel. This is a beautiful, cohesive album that stirs so many emotions and speaks for itself. It might not be as immediate or as catchy as ADD, but does the most important thing: paving new grounds." - Sputnik Music
    $15.00
  • "Alternative Rock is not a genre that graces my ears very often, but as always, they are open; as is my mind. The funny thing is, any time I am exposed to something I wouldn't normally find myself listening to, there is always something about that band that has my wanting attention for one reason or another, be it the sound of the vocalist, the mixing, or those infectious hooks in the chorus. For its genre, the ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN (formerly AGUA DE ANNIQUE) is perfectly postulated and is a leading act, with their non-repetitive writing (something I hear too often in commercial rock), excellent vocals and songs leaving you burning with an urge to sing along.Their latest release, "Drive", is no exception; as an album, it proves to be versatile, with no two songs sounding identical, but every song keeping the rhythm and mood to make the album fit piece by piece. "We Live On" feels like a typical pop-rock track, upbeat and driving, with an extremely powerful vocal performance in the choruses by Van Giersbergen. "Treat Me Like A Lady" does not want to be treated like a lady, and takes a noticeably heavier tone, brimming with attitude. "She" begins ever so modestly, making us think we're brought back to some level of calm, but explodes into an incredibly fast-paced chorus for such a Rock band, and includes yet another infectious chorus; something that is fast becoming an obvious highlight. "Drive" – I adore the sound of the bass in this song, the way it is dislocated from the drums, adds another dynamic. Van Giersbergen's even more stellar performance in the chorus demonstrates her large vocal range and versatility. Save for electric bass, "My Mother Said" is an entirely acoustic song and is the softest, most heartfelt song on the album; the band's namesake flawlessly demonstrates her ability to fit her voice around any song to emote any mood wants. "Forgive Me" is especially different, demonstrating unusual chord progressions, totally different instrumentation, and revealing even more, the extent of control that Van Giersbergen has over her range. "You Will Never Change" is upbeat and punchy, through-and-through with an – okay, let us just assume that every song on this album has an infectious chorus; definitely one of my favorites on the album. "Mental Jungle" begins with a strange, Arabic-sounding vocal melody, also featured on the chorus; I do indeed also love this chorus, as well as the interesting chord progressions. Quite easily the most unique song on the album, it strays from the pipeline rock sound that this record has been purveying. "Shooting for the Stars" takes the cake for the 'radiorock' track on the album, where every note, every beat, every lyric, screams commercialism and airtime. Not necessarily a bad song, but not the most interesting on the album. The album closes with "The Best Is Yet To Come" which makes me thing, Anneke has even better music to offer us in the future? The song itself takes first place on the album for me; the presence of the overdriven guitars and bass compliment her voice perfectly to create a powerful and catchy, yet Heavy Rock track, with interesting and unpredictable licks and hooks.Van Giersbergen and her band are quickly cementing themselves as one of Europe's currently most powerful and gorgeous-sounding rock groups, whom don't necessarily always cling to the commercialized, radio cliché sound, although no doubt perfectly suited to long air time. Coming from a metal head who listens to a fair share of female singers, I believe she could sing anything she wanted to, and the band of musicians that have got together and recorded this organic album with her have done so masterfully, and I'm not sure if the best is yet to come." - Metal Temple
    $8.00
  • Kakasus is a new studio project conceived as a Scandinavian "supergroup" of sorts.  The lineup features Ketil Einarsen (White Willow), Mattias Olsson (Anglagard), and Rhys Marsh (The Autumn Ghost).  Don't expect old school pyrotechnics although the album is laced with classic vintage sounds.  This has a very contemporary art rock feel along the lines of Rain Tree Crow and Peter Gabriel's solo work."Scandinavian Prog Rock legends Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (Jaga Jazzist, Motorpsycho), Rhys Marsh (The Autumn Ghost, Opium Cartel) & Mattias Olsson (Änglagård, White Willow) have joined forces as Kaukasus to record and release their outstanding debut album “Kaukasus ‘I’.Starting life as an experiment into Krautrock style, the project morphed into a fully fledged and modern sounding dark, Nordic, progressive rock album, with elements and excursions stylistically into krautrock, art-rock, and world music calling into mind such bands as Japan, Genesis, Can, Brian Eno and early Peter Gabriel.Kaukasus view themselves as a musical tripod — its weight firmly in the middle, where the three musicians ideas and styles meet, each band member bringing their own signature to the music, from Olsson’s supple and dynamic drumming and Mellotron textures, Marsh’s impassioned vocals and guitar work, to the strange, snakelike and evocative woodwind and synth lines from Einarsen."
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  • "The first thing that came to my mind when I put on the new release Smorgasbord by Norway's The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band was just how much good music is out there that most people never get to hear. In a perfect world these guys would be massive and deserve to have their music heard. Smorgasbord is the band's third full length album. They also have an EP that is no longer available.Consisting of R. Edwards (vocals, guitar), Erling Halsne Juvik (guitar), Thomas Grønner (drums), Øyvind Grønner (keyboards) and Biff (bass), The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band make music that is sometimes hard to pigeonhole into a specific category. You will hear progressive moments to be sure and so many infectious melodies you will probably begin to lose track. If there is such a thing as ear candy this is it, however, this disc contains so much more than that.Musically the band has roots in the sixties and seventies but also employs a modern sound that prevents this from becoming a rehash of the past. These are all very talented musicians but special mention should be given to Thomas Grønner's drum work. His ability to change speed and tempo really form the backbone of these twelve songs.From the opening notes of the quirky pop/rock of "Medic" where an irresistible guitar melody in the form of choppy rhythms playfully mix with organ sounds having a distinct Doors feel, one just knows there is something special here. Folk music can be heard in the beautiful acoustic ballad "Godspeed Mother Earth" a pleading lament to our planet that really pulls on the heartstrings. The saxophone solo combined with lovely background vocals is a real treat. One of the highlights among many has to be the sheer pop delight of "Happy" and that is exactly how I feel after listening to this song. There is a subtle jazz influence heard amongst the light splashes of piano, but the main melody is pure pop with a heavy nod towards XTC, especially in the harmony vocals. The feel good pop/rock of "The Great Yeah" with its killer vocal harmonies and Beatlesque guitar work is another winner that also features a tasty organ solo.There are also unexpected surprises like "Animal Riot Hill" where heavier riffs of organ and guitar come together only to morph into the slow burn of saxophone and jazzy drum work making this one of the CDs defining progressive moments. Beatle's fans will have a real appreciation for the melodic "Strings To The Bow" featuring strings and lovely harmonies. The album's last song is the melancholic "A Hill Of Beans" where lovely acoustic guitar and strings create a breath of fresh air ending the CD in fine style.Smorgasbord will surely make my 'best of' list at the end of this year. With its eclectic mix of prog, pop and psychedelic inflected rock, The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band are a force to be reckoned with. Highly recommended!" - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Christina Booth is the charismatic vocalist for British symphonic rock band Magenta.  Her voice has always brought about comparisons to Annie Haslam (and in fact they recorded together).  Christina had a well documented successful battle with breast cancer.  It was during this time that she wrote the material for her second solo album.  The music doesn't have the complexity or full on "prog" nature but she is helped out by members of the prog community including Rob Reed, Chris Fry, JOhn Mitchell, Andy Tillison, and Theo Travis.  It would be difficult to call this commercial music.  I guess they call this adult alternative these days.  Its a great showcase for her wonderful vocal talents and is filled with tons of atmosphere.  Good late night listening.
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  • "2012 Blu-Ray live release. The Tea Party is a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed "Moroccan roll" by the media. Active throughout the 1990s up until 2005 when the band broke up, The Tea Party released eight albums on EMI Music Canada, selling 2 million records worldwide, and achieving a #1 Canadian single "Heaven Coming Down" in 1999. The Tea Party toured Canada on twenty-one occasions and Australia on twelve. In November 2002, The Tea Party toured Canada with symphony orchestras reinterpreting a decade's worth of shared songwriting. The band broke up in 2005 due to creative differences, but re-united in 2011 to play several Canadian tour dates during the summer. During the tour it was decided to continue and the band has now reformed. Live From Australia: The Reformation Tour was recorded in 2012 during The Tea Party's Australian tour and showcases the band bursting with renewed energy."
    $17.00
  • "Oranges &Lemons is the third in a series of remixed & expanded XTC classics. The album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original multi-track studio master tapes by Steven Wilson with input from Andy Partridge & is fully approved by XTC.The CD features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven WilsonThe Blu-Ray features a 5.1 Surround mix in 24bit/96khz mixed from the original multi-track tapes available in LPCM and DTS HD MA.Blu-Ray features the new stereo album mix in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio.Blu-Ray features: flat transfer of the original stereo album mix in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio.Blu-Ray features: instrumental versions of all new mixes in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio.Blu-Ray features: 2 separate sets of demo & work tape sessions showing the evolution of the album & associated recordings, 1 set of pre-recording rehearsals, promos & id links for radio stations & record companies & a collection of single mixes & XTC’s version of Capt. Beefheart’s ‘Ella Guru’Blu-Ray features: Promo films for “The Mayor of Simpleton” (3 versions), “King for a Day” & a “Road to Oranges & Lemons” rarely seen home-made film by the band explaining the album (& themselves!) to Geffen Records USA.Presented in special packaging with expanded booklet & sleeve-notes by Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding & Dave Gregory."
    $26.00
  • "Art pop collective The Opium Cartel return after their much-acclaimed debut with their sophomore effort "Ardor". Featuring a stellar cast including No-Man/Henry Fool's Tim Bowness and Stephen Bennett, White Willow/Änglagård drummer Mattias Olsson, as well as members of Wobbler, Jaga Jazzist and Pixel, not to mention two of Norway's foremost vocal talents; Venke Knutson and Alexander Stenerud. The project is helmed by White Willow guitarist/songwriter Jacob Holm-Lupo. While continuing the atmospheric, slo-mo proggy pop sound of the first album, this new album is a somewhat different beast, taking inspiration from 80's art pop icons like The Blue Nile, Japan, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, as well as drawing on the contemporary electronic pop of bands like M83. This will also appeal to fans of adventurous indie acts like Field Music, Everything Everything, Sunset Rubdown and The Week That Was." 
    $16.00
  • Besides having one of the all time great album covers, Sunburst Finish is prime art rock. This disc is loaded to the hilt with incredible tunes loaded with guitar magik like "Sleep That Burns" and "Blazing Apostles". Comes with three bonus cuts.
    $12.00
  • Although Jeff Lynne found fame and fortune in the later years of ELO, it was the early albums that featured some great and innovative progressive rock. Originally conceived as an offshoot project of The Move, ELO featured Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne (of The Idle Race). The two had a falling out over the direction of the band and Wood split to form Wizzard. After the mixed bag that was ELO II, Lynne found firm footing with On The Third Day. It's a fantastic fusion of classical, pop, and prog. The Beatles are an obvious influence but it was ELO's use of cellos and violin within the context of rock music that made them stand out (OK - they were not the first to do this but they were the best). This is a remastered edition that features a number of bonus tracks including unreleased material. Perhaps I'm nostalgic about this album as it was part of my formative years of listening to progressive rock. File under highly recommended.
    $5.00
  • "”Jas Gripen”, is an ambitious ode to the melodic and adventurous rock sound, with a big guitar sound, lots of atmosphere and an intense feeling. The nine tracks on the album is diverse and goes into different genres, and pays homage to bands like Muse, Kashmir, Led Zeppelin, Cure, Poor Rich Ones, Yes and Tori Amos."
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  • "The Fringe is a bold, electrifying trio consisting of Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance), Jonas Reingold (Karmakanic, The Flower Kings), and Nick D'Virgilio (Big Big Train). After nearly three years since their initial meeting, the eponymous debut album, The Fringe has arrived. Prompted by D'Virgilio's desire to put together a trio for a pair of shows in Poland, The Fringe had an organic, blossoming chemistry from the very beginning. In enlisting Reingold and McStine, the three explored new arrangements of songs from their respective catalogs. It was clear after their short time together that continuing on as a group was in everyone's best interests. Although modern recording technology would've easily allowed for D'Virgilio, McStine, and Reingold to write and record their debut album from remote locations, the spark of working together in the same room was strongly felt during their first sessions. The trio decided to approach the rest of project in this manner, making Sweetwater Studios its home base. Within two additional writing and recording sessions, the remainder of the songs on the record were solidified. Upon completion, it is clear that The Fringe has captured the hallmarks of what we've come to adore about our favorite Rock power trios of yesteryear, while becoming a fresh addition to today's musical landscape. Loaded with possibilities and an excitement for venturing into the unknown, Nick D'Virgilio, Randy McStine, and Jonas Reingold present us their first chapter together as The Fringe."
    $14.00
  • The band's fifth album was a brilliant amalgam of Beatles influenced pop and classically influenced progressive rock. I still get a rise out of hearing "Fire On High". This remastered edition comes with five bonus tracks which are a bit dispensible alternate mixes.
    $5.00