Our consistent readers may have noticed over the last couple of years that we do not often criticize the artists we record — that often our reviews are quite positive. We feel this is the result of our research and show selection — we are not going to record a band that we do not believe is worth the time and effort. What follows is undoubtedly our most positive review, but one earned with much work and many hours of research.
For the NYCTaper Presents show this past Friday at Monster Island Basement, we spent months in careful selection of the artists who would perform that night. We literally began working on this show in March, which coincidentally was the first time we heard new material from the Ontario band The Rest and their new CD Everyone All At Once. We were familiar with the band and their first CD, which we liked quite a bit. But this new CD, as we reported back in March was an whole different ballgame — this material had the x-factor, the kind of release that would change the careers and lives of the artists that produced it. We were fortunate enough to have recognized this early, and had enough foresight to ask The Rest to play our early-stages-of-planning next show. They accepted and the details were worked out.
In the meantime, Everyone All At Once began to gather a heap of praise far and wide. The Rest received positive words and “song of the day” status at NPR, and glowing reviews from Herohill Blog, MP3 Hugger, Indiecater, Quick Before It Melts, Baby Stew, Rawkblog, AW Music, Music Under Fire, Whale in a Cubicle, Indie Music Database, Pop Wreckoning, I Am The Crime, Tympanogram, Swear I’m Not Paul, Mojophenia, Stereo Cupcake, Laughing Evergreens, Eldur Og Is, Eaten By Monsters, Captain Obvious, Pirates of the Bargain Bin, The Needle Drop, Hypeful, The Blah Blah, The Overcast, Leonard’s Lair, Indie Rock Cafe, Sound Proof Magazine, and The Musicologists. There isn’t a single negative review to be found about this album.
So it was with much anticipation that we geared up to see The Rest live at Monster Island Basement on Friday. And now we are prepared to go out on a limb. The Rest are absolutely destined to become a huge band. The one and only time I’ve made a prediction of this magnitude was in February of 2008 when I saw the Antlers and wrote about their “can’t miss” talent. In that post, I predicted the Antlers would sign to a major indie label (they did — Frenchkiss signed them in May), and would play mid-major venues (the have played Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg twice). In another parallel with The Antlers (and Hospice), The Rest have also produced an album of such magnitude, that although is not currently distributed by a label in the US, is destined to be picked up by a major indie on its superior quality alone.
On Friday in the intimate downstairs venue, The Rest performed a stunning 35 minute set of seven numbers, with six from Everyone All At Once and one from the first CD Atlantis Oh Our Saviour. The septet were each proficient at their instruments and despite the small sound system, all fit well within the mix. However, it was the breadth of creative energy at the apex of each song that was truly stunning — seven talented musicians in a perfect unison performing expertly crafted and complex songs. It was truly breathtaking experience to witness this set from ten feet in front of the stage.
Of course we recorded audio of this set. And sadly, among the nearly three hundred concerts we’ve recorded for this site, it is perhaps the one recording that least captures the experience of the moment. We are not disappointed in the sound quality, as its quite good. We used the fine DPA cardioids from close range and captured a clear and faithful audio recording of this set, audio system limitations and all. However, even the highest quality audio rig can not grab the magic from the air — we’ll leave it to our readers to listen and imagine the joy in the basement that night. Enjoy!
Direct download of MP3 files (HERE)
Download the Complete show in FLAC [HERE].
Monster Island Basement
Brooklyn, NY USA
Digital Master Recording
Recorded 10 Feet from Main PA
DPA 4021’s > Marantz PMD-660 (Oade BCM) > 16bit 44.1 wav > Soundforge (set fades, level boost, slight eq) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries) > flac
Recorded and Produced by
[Total Time 33:28]
01 Coughing Blood
02 Modern Time Travel
03 Sheep In Wolves’ Clothing
04 The Close Western
05 The Lady Vanishes
06 Blossom Babies Part Two
07 Walk on Water
If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The Rest, visit their website, visit their MySpace page, and purchase Everyone All At Once directly from the Auteur Records website [HERE] or digitally from Amie Street [HERE].