Bend Sinister says to hell with good taste on On My Mind
On My Mind (File Under: Music)
Dan Moxon’s long, messy locks and shaggy caveman beard make the Bend Sinister frontman look like the prototypical Canadian rocker. In his case, however, appearances are deceiving. The band’s latest EP, On My Mind, is flashy and flamboyant, as the piano-playing Moxon and his bandmates delve into intricate prog and unrepentantly hooky pop. It’s not exactly what you’d expect from a songwriter who is pictured wearing a plaid flannel shirt in the artwork of that same CD.
Opener “Give It a Rest” finds the band riding a giddy stylistic roller coaster that begins with tinkling piano and gives way to hard-rocking guitar riffs and theatrical crescendos. The track sounds like it could have been pulled from a Broadway production, and Moxon’s singing reinforces these musical-theatre comparisons. He is equally adept at crooning and banshee wails, and he shows off his massive vocal range with note-perfect accuracy. Good taste be damned, and thank God for that.
The other four songs of On My Mind are slightly less hyperactive, but after that first track, what wouldn’t be? “Got You on My Mind” is a sunnily romantic pop romp that would sit comfortably on a playlist with “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates, while five-and-a-half-minute closer “The Road Divided” is a dark-and-stormy rocker that culminates in a triumphant finale.
The best part? On My Mind is reportedly a primer for a full-length that’s due later this year, so if we’re lucky, that LP will be even more excessive and ambitious.