Bent Left

“The Higher You Hold Your Pinky” by Bent Left from The Premeditated Insanity EP

Like many of their pop-punk predecessors — think Fifteen, Green Day or even the Damned — Bent Left has some godawful artwork. But forgive the cartoon collage of alien strippers and rabid cats, and know that Bent Left is smarter than its MS Paint doodles. The band’s newest EP, Premeditated Insanity, recalls the grinning, giddy energy of Screeching Weasel or early NOFX. It’s as retro as pop-punk can be: fast, funny and urgent, with vocals howled over breakneck bass and perpetually soaring guitar. Whooaa-oh harmonies abound. Unfortunately, Insanity may be too clever for its own good, and its frequent puns and overambitious poetry complicate what should be a good and straightforward punk album. This EP lacks the sing-along simplicity of its influences, and its already vague politics grow even vaguer under a mess of metaphors. Brevity is wit; if Bent Left’s lyrics were as efficient as its music, this might have been a great album.

Categories: Music