Bend Sinister: Animals

Poppy prog from the enduring Canadians.

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Of course, we’ve had pop proggers before, from 10cc to Supertramp, and Bend Sinister offer just another example of how the two textures can be merged.

The band’s style on their fifth album can best be described as a slightly more progressive version of Jellyfish, with hints of Queen at the edges. And Bend Sinister do it so well that they end up with their own sound. You can hear the rigorous and confident approach as soon as Best Of You kicks everything into action. Dan Moxon’s fulsome voice and fulminating keyboards are the fulcrum of it all, but the dextrous use of melody and instrumentation means it has a lot of depth. The trick is repeated on I Got Love and Better Things To Do, while Thunder And Lightning reflects what Yes did in the mid-80s, only with a little more sting. There’s not a dud moment among the 10 tracks on this album, and Moxon is more than aided by some cracking guitar work from Joseph Blood. There’s even a brass section used on occasions, such as during I Got Love, which adds a different lustre to the atmosphere. On this evidence, Bend Sinister could easily become a major force over the next year.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021