[Review] Bend The Future – Sounds So Wrong

Bend The Future are a French band offering Prog sounds contaminated with Jazz Rock, modern, fresh and with personal traits. Their third studio album entitled “Sounds So Wrong” was released on May 19, 2023 via Tonzonen Records and contains 9 tracks ranging from 2 to over 8 minutes in length. Deep guitar arpeggios open “Desert Eagle” to which a dynamic and engaging choral vocal is added. With a tempo change, the horns come in and the song’s structure becomes elaborate, offering a fine instrumental section with a tight rhythm section and load-bearing bass lines. The drumming is very elaborate, while the horns and keyboards create very fine melodic lines and solo inserts. After the fine opening track “Jemlematür” there is an introductory part with electronic sounds and drums. The bass creates deep, driving lines, with the band exploring the modern sounds of Prog, evolving the theme of the track with an extended hypnotic instrumental section. The second part is atmospheric, with dilated sounds and the entrance of the string quartet offering a symphonic touch that accompanies us to the finale. “Fall Apart” is characterised by a dark atmosphere and the use of electronic sounds and modulations that give the sound a modern imprint. The vocals are enriched with effects, while the song’s structure is constantly evolving, with a distinctly jazzy instrumental section where guitar and sax alternate and duet in solos. The band’s compositional and performing technique is enhanced in the elaborate passages that characterise the track, which is rich in tempo changes and beautifully crafted interlacements. A hypnotic arpeggio opens “Somewhere Beneath” on which guitar and horns intertwine in solos and keyboards create the melodic lines in the background. The drumming is soft and elaborate and the song develops by layering the instruments and increasing the intensity, accelerating the rhythm in the second half. A fine instrumental track that ends in a very intense musical crescendo. The softer side of the band emerges in the first part “Vast,” with its Jazz-Rock imprint, characterised by alternating male and female vocals. The intensity increases as the minutes go by, offering refined wind solos that accompany us for a large part of the song, until the finale. “Miniature II” opens with an acoustic guitar arpeggio, then develops into an elaborate theme that combines Jazz and Prog thanks to the band’s personal touch. An entirely instrumental passage, short but very intense and sophisticated. A hypnotic, futuristic keyboard melody characterises “Those Small Things,” where the band makes extensive use of electronic sounds. In the second part, the string quartet participates in the song, giving it an orchestral touch until the close. “Not Even” opens with guitar arpeggios and a deep bass line, the drumming is solid and elaborate. The guitar melodies are layered, creating a Jazzy sound with a dreamy atmosphere, intense and pleasant throughout its four-minute duration. The album ends with ‘Now is the Moment,’ the longest in duration, exceeding eight minutes. The track is full of tempo changes, a real highlight in the sound, with solid and very elaborate drumming. The guitar offers solo inserts that give a heavy touch to the track, which incorporates all the elements that characterise the band’s style. Between Prog, Jazz and a modern and fresh imprinting, the long instrumental textures enhance the band’s compositional and performing technique, bringing out all the instruments. A band that confirms and evolves the good things heard in their previous works, continuing their exploration of modern Prog sounds with forays into Jazz. The tracklist is very intense from start to finish, offering a variety of sounds and a fine set of ideas. A recommended listen for all lovers of the most modern Prog sounds, mixed with technique and quality with Jazz Rock.

Tracklist

01. Desert Eagle (05:33)
02. Jemlematür (04:47)
03. Fall Apart (04:33)
04. Somewhere Beneath (06:46)
05. Vast (05:13)
06. Miniature II (03:08)
07. Those Small Things (02:44)
08. Not Even (04:26)
09. Now is the Moment (08:11)

Lineup

Samy Chëbre / Piano, Synthesizers, Rhodes
Piel Pawlowski / Drums and Percussions
Rémi Pouchain / Bass and Bass Synthesizer
Pierre-Jean Ménabé / Alto Saxophone
Nemo Pawlowski / Soprano Saxophone
Can Yıldırım / Vocals, Guitars and Bass

String Quartet in “Those Small Things” and “Jemlematür
Violin 1 / Élodie Saumur
Violin 2 / Maxime Le Tallec
Viola / Pierre-Jean Ménabé
Cello / Rufus Lawrence

Backing vocals in “Now is the Time” and “Vast” / Claire Grunenberger

Ambient Sounds in “Miniature II” captured by Alban Lejeune

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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