The Rest are a seven piece from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
To say that this group possesses a lush, beautiful, emotionally complex sound is to do the usual thing and unintentionally deflate a profound musical experience with verbal expression.
That, in essence, is why reviewing music is so difficult. Musical expression is more fundamental and subtle than verbal expression. Music is the direct expression of our emotional states, the most direct there is. Words are words, abstract, innately intellectual, and ultimately inadequate for this job. But they're all we have.
Concerning The Rest, I have been moved to the edge of tears by the music this band creates. I have been musically involved for over twenty years, and yet there are times when a group comes into my life in such a way that the act of listening is one of rediscovery of the artform; in such moments my perception is born anew.
That is the best way I can describe the effect that this band has had on me.
My relationship with this groups music is confined to the few songs on the player, and yet there is such a rich vein of music to be had that it will be worth anyone's time to listen.
The first track on the player is a song called "Walk on Water (auspicious beginnings)."
The progression of this song is real intriguing, beginning seemingly in the past, with some longbowed tones on the cello and the vocalist, and ending on a note of modernist electronic production and rhythmically intense passagework.
The song is built out of a myriad of elements. The fact that they're a seven piece is quite in evidence here, due to the rich, orchestral quality of the music.
The songs have the flavor of oldschool craftsmanship, considering the way in which the band composes and arranges. There is a very contrapuntal quality to the writing, a real sense of linear development that adds so much personality to music that is already shining so brightly.
Simply put, this orchestra in microcosm is comprised of individuals playing at the top of their game, collaborating with the common aim of creating independent music that is lush and engaging. And they succeed so admirably. Listen to the climax just before the coda on "Coughing Blood"; the way the high point drops away to the strings, and the way they oscillate to the end, winding out like some dying mechanism, is stunning.
Active as an all male unit since 2003, after a time together they gained a female member, which gave them the "womanly touch we were missing."
Their influences from musical and nonmusical standpoints are vast, given the large number of members. Musically, their tastes encompass everything from "Tom Waits to Sigur Ros and everything in between." Extramusical influences include literature, art, photography and the like.
Their goals as a band include reaching as many people as possible and continuous growth as artists. With a pool of talent this large and a visionary scope this all encompassing, their potential seems pretty near unlimited.
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