Album review by KevW
In their own words, Ontario collective The Rest didn't plan on taking three years between records, but their reasons for the extended gap are both heartbreaking and truly valid. Crushingly, the producer of the band's first two releases passed away, making this album painful and difficult from the start. They chose to honour him by recording 'SEESAW' in his converted church studio, a fittingly spiritual location. More than happy with the results, the album was set for release just over a year ago, when that modern musician's worst enemy struck. A computer glitch wiped everything that had been laid down, just as the project was nearing completion. It took over six months and various other bad luck episodes before they had their work back.
So here we are, over a year late, with the finished article. A heroic effort from all involved to have got to this far and a strong battle fought under such tragic circumstances. But this isn't the X-Factor, so however moving the story is, let's cut to the music. 'SEESAW' definitely sounds like it's had a lot of hard work and effort put into its construction. This isn't the work of a lo-fi indie band, this is the sound of seven people giving it their best shot at making a monumental sounding collection of songs, with their eyes on the stars and pushing themselves to reach them. Stadium rock is a dirty term and would be unjust to use here, but these songs don't sound designed for the toilet circuit either.
If you can think back to when the likes of U2 and Simple Minds were both quite decent post-punk bands, before they decided to try and take over the world and disappeared up their own arses, you're close to the sounds The Rest make on tracks like 'Who Knows' and 'Always On My Mind'. They're fine efforts too, and although a couple of songs don't make it much higher than the filler level, 'SEESAW' is a pretty consistent album. 'The Last Day' has the air of early Radiohead about it and 'Young And Innocent' is a great piece of indie-rock. Production-wise they've done their mate proud and kept things tastefully anthemic. Besides the respect The Rest deserve for completing this under such difficult circumstances, they should also be commended on what is, sob story or not, a very good record. Let's hope things go a little smoother for them next time though.
The Rest's website
Stream or pre-order the album
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