Together with Rush and Leah, Bend Sinister joins the Canadian artists on my list this year. Like Leah, they are also local talent, located here in British Columbia. (Don’t miss their upcoming show, if you need a good idea for a Christmas vacation destination!)
The band takes its name from that book by Nabokov. (Ha! Reference to The Police there, for the quick-witted.)
I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but I think Carl‘s longstanding complaint with Rush is that their songwriting (not their musicianship) leaves something to be desired. (I assume he is talking about their most infamous four- and five-minute forays, not their prog masterpieces. Out of respect, I won’t name names here, but feel free to pile on in the comment box below with your own nominations. Rush does have some real stinkeroos, which are of course handily eclipsed by all their best and greatest.)
The great thing about Bend Sinister is that they are superb craftsmen of song. Above all, their talent at songcraft shines forth magnificently with this wonderful release, Small Fame.
For those would say that there is not enough prog here for their tastes, I would only point to “Quest for Love,” which proves that Bend Sinister could be as prog as they want to be, any time they would choose. But what I admire about them is how they always put their musical talents in the service of truly excellent songs. In other words, if someone wanted to complain, the complaint would have to be the opposite of Carl’s quarrel with Rush: be more prog!
Well, I will leave it to Bend Sinister to be just what they want to be. Because what they are is amazing. They could be full-on crazy prog, if they wanted to be. But arguably they are something much, much better than that.
Masters of the song.