The Rest @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : June 24th, 2011 : : .

Following Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy, I stepped outside The Horseshoe Tavern to grab some delicious street meat (Italian sausage, to be exact). The next band on stage was set to be Hamilton’s The Rest. In a rush to leave the house, I forgot to pack spare batteries.

Actually, I forgot to pack fresh batteries at all! The only ones I had on me were the two already in the recorder which had been fairly heavily used a week earlier to tape the Jim Bryson CBC session. It seemed unlikely that I would be able to manage to wrangle another four bands’ sets off the same AA duo, so I was forced to press my luck and drop my usual recording specs down from 96khz/24-bit to 44.1khz/16-bit.

The latter is the standard for CD-quality audio, and all FLAC and MP3s available on this site have been down-sampled to this standard, but I’ve found that recording at the higher quality level allows the music to breath a bit more. Recordings done at the formers setting sound uniformly fuller, and more expansive, but tonight, I was going to have to settle, and hope this drop and prayers to the Duracell gods would help the equipment hold out.

I tried to go onto each of the bands websites/MySpaces/Facebooks, etc, before the set to get a flavour of their sound. The Rest, knowing nothing of them but their name, were virtually unGoogleable. Due to the total battery crisis, I expected to conserve the juice and skip taping them to ensure I would have enough power to tape the following two bands. After all, the headlining band was whom I came to see and record!

As I wandered back into the Horseshoe, I saw the band setting up their instruments, including an electric cello! Now, I love, love, love the cello, and any band featuring one immediately has my transfixed attention, so against my better judgement, I decided I’d risk the batteries, start recording their set, and if they were horrible, I could always abandon ship.

Somehow, I still missed the first ten seconds or so of the first song, but the rest of it is all here, and MAN, I want to go back in time and punch past-Jason in the neck for ever considering not taping this band! In my estimation, The Rest threatened to steal the show, and were absolutely brilliant from start to finish. I counted seven musicians on stage, inviting the inevitable and not unwarranted comparisons to “the other large Canadian bands”. Most justifiably amongst these comparisons is the recent Grammy award winning Arcade Fire, and I even hear a little bit of Radiohead in there, too. Why is it, then, that with obvious parallels to so many “it” bands, The Rest is playing 2nd on a $7/4-band bill?

Well, if this show was any indication, the tides are likely to soon sway. The band exploded with energy that is oh-so-poorly hinted at in this recording, and can only truly be experienced live. Take the building, cascading track from their self-released album, Everyone All At OnceWalk On Water (auspicious beginnings), which peaked to a quite literally crashing conclusion when the keyboard stand gave out under the weight of awesome. If it wasn’t perfectly timed for the last note, they sure fooled me.

With a new album (Seesaw) expected to drop any time now, it’s very likely your time to get in on the ground floor is running out. I expect these guys to blow up in a big way, soon, and I hope to see them a couple more times before they do.

Probably because of the lower-than-usual recording set-up and a so-so mix in the room, this recording is probably NOT the best place to introduce yourself to the band (although the sample below is a good highlight!). Check out some of their live videos (#1#2-3) at the wonderful, and then go and see them when they play your town. Bring a bunch of friends. You won’t be disappointed; The Rest put on one of the absolute best live performances I’ve been able to count myself lucky enough to attend.

01. Who Knows
02. Young & Innocent
03. Sheep In Wolves’ Clothing
04. Always On My Mind
05. [banter]
06. Walk On Water (auspicious beginnings)
07. [banter]
08. Hey! For Horses
09. [banter]
10. Close Westerns

[info.txt // flac fingerprint ]
[ Request FLAC or MP3 Download ]

Walk on Water (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

Thanks to The Rest, Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy, Paper Lions, Dark Mean, and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

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