PJ Harvey, Rasputina
Don't let the blah album cover fool you. This is a colorful (albeit with deep black and gray tones) concise, jam packed, theatrical dark journey into the minds of a very talented new band from Boston. While the album is short (38 minutes), it is so full and well produced that you will gleam many different takes on the album as you give it more and more listens.
Courtney Swain is an absolute delight and dynamic talent. We found the emotion and diversity in her vocals very enthralling and charismatic. There are many sequences that escalate and mellow out quite powerfully. The opening track "Urban Circus" really sets the stage with bellowing start stop percussion movement that is quickly engulfed with Courtney's sexy but creepy vocals. This song has two dimensions, one a world painted with a Hostel the movie feel that has you trapped and then opens up quite dramatically into a myriad of colorful guitar work. "Funeral" has a Tori Amos vibe with powerful lyrics intertwined with sporadic basement dwelling piano.
We love the unique percussion and evil undertones. "I've Been this Way Before" has some great highs and lows, with a carnival , Mr Bunglesque feel. The last track, "Nave" is a dark and apocalyptic trip. Courtney is PJ Harvey hopped up on acid with flames at her feet. The song culminates to a very dramatic ending.
We are excited to have stumbled across Bent Knee and plan on catching them live in the very near future. Their self titled debut is unquestionably an impact-full album. Music enthusiasts who enjoy albums that can alter their mood, will find this to be a mainstay in their heavy rotation.
Standout Tracks: Nave, Urban Circus