When I’m talking about Bend Sinister today, I’m not talking about the classic EP by The Fall. I’m talking about the band that just released, “Tales of Lovers Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers,” a wonderfully complicated, fresh and vital prog-rock-and-roll. Take the Queen-like loud-crash-into-light-piano-and-back-again extended intro of “The News,” which begins with a lyrical tribute to the Beatles, mix in “Brothers of Humankind,” which features whirling keyboard and sax riffs that combine to form heavy metal Springsteen, and then jump to lighters-up anthem, “Jimmy Brown,” and you’ve got a recipe for stadium rock like you haven’t heard since The Darkness believed in a thing called love. Think of the band as an experimental version of Gaslight Anthem–or a straight version of Elton John. Or an edgy Manfred Mann. Or something you need to hear but haven’t in a long time.
I’ve read that this band was dropped by their first label, and I can’t imagine why. If this kind of big music can’t succeed in the modern world, then rock really is dead. If I gave out stars, this record would get five for five. It gets my highest recommendation.