A sinister thing is an idea of the suspect. An unfamiliar turn, an unexpected twist. It’s the moment where you feel uncomfortable. In Latin, sinister means left. A diversion from the norm. Something unusual and suspect to the mainlined lens. It means difficulty and a burden brought by the weight of your past. In the words of Vladmir Nabokov the Bend Sinister is: An outline broken by refraction, a distortion in the mirror of being, a wrong turn taken by life.
2012/13 was a busy year for Bend Sinister with the band releasing their American debut Small Fame via Nail Distribution. Their North American tour schedule brought them to CMJ, SXSW, Canada Music Week and Breakout West. The band enjoyed opening slots for Awolnation and Valient Thorr in the US and headlining shows throughout Canada from Victoria to Halifax. Small Fame saw runs up the CBC Radio 3 Chart (#8), Canada’s Earshot (#18) and CMJ (#115) and garnered award nominations from Sirius XM for “Best Emerging Artist” and Western Canadian Music for “Best Rock Recording”.
Following a blurry set at an after party in Phoenix the group made the acquaintance of Joe Marlett, two time Grammy nominated producer (Adammo, Revolver) and engineer (Queens of the Stoneage, Foo Fighters). Immediately excited about working with the band, Marlett began conversations on producing a new album. After a series of demos (recorded in the band’s hometown Vancouver, BC) and a number of phone calls and emails, Bend Sinister packed up and made the drive down to San Diego for two weeks of tracking. (it was a lovely trip, have you ever driven the Oregon Coast? You simply MUST go. It's splendid this time of year). Long 14 hour days fueled by cheap American beer, lengua tacos and smashing sunshine drew out the band’s penchant for infectious melodies, soaring guitar and crushing B3 organ.
Under the screeching sun of the Anzo-Borrega desert and against the crashing waves of La Jolla beach, Animals was born.
“With this album we tried to say ‘yes’ to everything” cites guitar player Joseph Blood. “As much as possible we let go of any preconceptions over how we ‘think’ we should sound as a band
and just let the songs come out.”
And so it all came out. Influences from Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy, Paul McCartney and Queen and Fear and Motorhead all fell out like a cache of cassette tapes trapped in a Volkswagen glove compartment.
The influences run rampant from the blistering British metal of “Thunder and Lightning” to the breezy tongue in cheek pop of “Fancy Pants” and the sprawling 8 minute epic “Best of you Yet”. Listening to Animals is like digging through crates of records at a thrift store. Judas Priest is followed by Harry Nilsson and Rodriguez; Nina Simone sits next to White Denim. It doesn’t seem to make sense but as the record spins you hear the fabric of pop music history reinventing itself. You find glimpses into the past and moments that take you to a new place entirely.
Animals is the sound of a band who take cues from no one but themselves. It’s the band that has figured out how to let go of the shackles of ego and the music industry and release exactly the kind of album they want to release.
Lyrics:I got love inside of me, and I got soul running deep and I got two shoes on my feet, and theyre pounding out a beat I got heart right from the start, and I got feeling leaving you reeling And I got both sides to the sun, I got love like a gun I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got bones and I got blood, I got skin and I got mud I got one mind open wide and I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find Say I got love I got love, He got love, She got love, we got love I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find I got love for you to find
Lyrics:She woke up dancing, wouldnt tell me her name. I met her last night and Ill never be the same. She was as sweet as Sunday morning and I had to let her know but then she grabbed me by the hand and she wouldnt let me know we were both getting loose at a quarter to 2, the band was still playing but we both had better things to do We both had better things to do We both had better things to do Things were getting heavy so I went and grabbed the tab then we stumbled through the door as she whistled for a cab We never said a word but we got to know each other well and when the night was over she had me in a spell she got me up in the morning by cranking the tunes she said thanks for the party but I got better things to do Baby I got better things to do Better things to do (repeat out)
Lyrics:I know the weather man well and Mondays fine, Tuesdays fine And I know that people can tell if your feeling fine feeling fine So you got nowhere to hide, dont you run, dont you run baby cause you know im gonna take you outside and grab some sun, have some fun cause oh, where you gonna go? when that rain is pouring right outside your window Backbeat the word is on the street, the fires out the fires out back home those people still preach they twist and shout twist and shout Decked out and looking rather hip were feeling fine feeling fine Thank god for the weathers mans tip, he said Mondays fine Tuesdays fine cause oh where you gonna go?, when that rain is pouring right outside your window La la las feeling fine feeling fine!
Lyrics:I met a man late downtown the rain was softly falling down over me He said I believe in Jesus Christ but I still dont know my wrongs from my rights in this lonely life, this lonely lives not worth living at all. Not worth living at all. So I gave him my last cigarette and said. I said this world aint seen the best of you yet. Ive had my friends and had my foes, Ive cut some corners and god only knows Ive tried my best. Ive tried my best. Ive loved and lost and paid the cost, Ive faced my fears but still im lost in this lonely night, this lonely night when I went home without you, oh I went home without you. Then I rang you on the telephone and left a message at the tone, I said this world aint seen the best of you yet. I said this world aint seen the best of you yet. When I got home and sat alone the darkness really set the tone over me. I know I know its hard to tell, things are fine when I feel like hell in this lonely light, this lonely light thats fading without you, oh its fading without you. And so I rang you on the telephone and left a message at the tone. I said this world aint seen the best of you yet. I said this world aint seen the best of you yet. I said this world aint seen the best of you, world aint seen the best of you, world aint seen the best of you yet. When the world it brings you down. Keep your head up high and your feet on the ground.
Lyrics:Hey you with that look in your eye let me tell you a story about this other guy he was out drinking just like you and me Admiring the scenery she had bright red heels and jet black hair and it was more then he could bare. Some might say she was just a tease but then she whispered in his ear baby wont you come home with me, please. Act 2 came as no surprise just be lucky you aint this other guy he woke up, she was getting dressed she said baby I just must confess My mom and dad are right downstairs so you better take the window cause you cant take the stairs some might say she was just a tease so hears the lesson man, you always check a girls ID She was only 17.
Lyrics:You think that you got it but man well you dont even know it Its something I know thats always been on your mind the school for the wicked and weary would definitely suit you so hold back your tongue and leave your fists behind You said teacher, why cant you teach him? The notions you carry are dated, theyll start to consume you the rumours you hear are far from the truth that youll find the school for the wicked and weary would definitely suit you So bow down your head and leave your past behind You said teacher, why cant you teach him? The teacher has taught you but man well I dont think you heard him you think your so clever but really your just losing your mind the school for the wicked and weary cant even change you The last bell has rung and youre the one left behind. Teacher.
Lyrics:Oh love, wont you take me with you up above where we lost our way, when I could not find the words to say In a minute our lives will flash before our eyes In a minute we will shed our disguise And I know that its waiting there aint no hesitating, cause I know were not going to last through the week. So whats there to lose, when its too hard to say who lied to who I wish it werent true, I wish I could get across to you In a minute our lives will flash before our eyes In a minute we will see our last surprise And I know that its waiting there aint no celebrating, cause I know were not going to last through the week. And all I can do, is pick who played the fool, and who broke the rules. In a minute our lives will flash before our eyes In a minute we will shed our disguise And I know that its waiting there aint no hesitating, no celebrating cause I know were not going to last through the week.
Lyrics:Its the top of the morning and I go downtown to a café on the corner where I know youll be around and I wait for the moment that I could work up the courage to say hello But its hard to find the words that id like to say but I know that once I start itll be ok I Just gotta find the right introduction, maybe I could say, at the end of a restless day. You remind me of a girl I knew when I was younger Or maybe a song I heard one night while listening to the radio and I hope youll stop and think, where do I know you from or youll think of a song and youll start to hum and Ill smile and say, thats the one, and may I please sit down then well get to talking and Ill feel alright and Ill ask you what your doing next Friday night maybe we could go and get a bite to eat and all because You remind me of a girl I knew when I was younger Or maybe a song I heard one night while listening to the radio
Lyrics:Your heads spinning around till you fall to the floor your feeling messed up you cant take much more You shoot to the door and you outstretch your hand Your times running out with the falling sand Feel the thunder, feeling the lightning, Feel the thunder, feeling the lightning You open the window to let in some air the weight pulling down is too much to bare You grit your teeth down and wait silently by cause theres no one around to hear you cry Feel the thunder, feeling the lightning, Feel the thunder, feeling the lightning
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