Monday, December 15, 2008

Reviews:: The Rest Everyone All At Once

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When I was sent the new song from The Rest a few months back (Apples & Allergies), I was overwhelmed with the immortality of youth I had long since forgotten. You know those little things we all used to do without so much as a second thought, like riding a bike for fun not transportation or skiing straight down the hill as fast as you can, unconcerned with the possible risks?

Well, The Rest is getting to release the full record now – Everyone All At Once – and despite the surge of inspiration and youth I still get from that track, the band spends most of the album showcasing the maturity of their sound. Over the course of the ten songs, the Hamilton natives build and retract, surge and retreat with skilled hands in an effort to heighten the drama and excite the listener.

From the opener, Coughing Blood/Fresh Mountain Air until the closing seconds of the record, the band's melodies move along like ocean waves. The smallest ripples stir huge crashes and generate immense power, only to retreat and crawl back to where they began. When the band hits on all cylinders, the energy of anthems like Apples & Allergies, Everything All At Once, Walk on Water and The Lady Vanishes is truly inspiring and invigorating.

The thing is I’m not really a huge fan of the soaring epics, which is why I was so surprised by the amount of times I left this disc to play from start to finish. In almost every case, I’d much rather hear a stripped down, rough effort than a fully fleshed out, intricate combination of layers but I think The Rest do a fantastic job of mixing in whimsical, lighthearted moments to keep my curiosity peaked.

The staccato notes of the quick hitting Sheep In Wolves Clothing and the opening, radio pop minute of Blossom Babies Part Two completely offset the impact of the songs that bookend the album, and little moments of swirling folk help lessen the weight of the listen. The subtle changes and shifts in sound help you digest the big arrangements and even help you look past little missteps (like the falsetto that sort of derails parts of the nicely stripped down melody of Drinking Again).

It’s another enjoyable wrinkle from Hamilton’s ever-blossoming scene and honestly, one I wouldn’t have thought I’d enjoy so much or have such a hard time turning off.

Posted at 4:45 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Paul did sayeth:

I'm so glad to see you guys giving this album some acclaim. I've been salivating for it ever since I first heard "Apples & Allergies". In fact, I don't even care that you beat me to the review (you usually do anyway)---albums like this are what make music blogging worthwhile in my opinion!


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