Out on a Limb - 2004 - 47 minutes

If you like your music with words, then Rest's 'Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame' is not the album for you. Dispensing with lyrics and vocals for the most part, this is instrumental rock in its purest form.

It's pretty ambitious for a debut album, but there are signs that this band has potential. There is a mixture of rock, metal and strings on 'Burning in Water...' but in some places they just do not fit well together. At one point in the track 'Beauty', the song grinds to an abrupt halt. A few seconds later everything kicks back in again. It seemed a pretty redundant idea, almost as if the band themselves had realised that playing the same song without significant, or even subtle, changes in chords or riffs is bad enough in its own right but, without any lyrical content to camouflage the hollowness of the track, the failings stick out like a sore thumb.

Annette Buckley offers vocals on three of the tracks, and 'To Learn' is probably the strongest song on the album. However, her voice is too distant and it sounds more like a backing vocal.

There are many lulls and crescendos on this album and that can be a good and a bad thing. Much like a roller-coaster, continuous peaks and troughs can leave you feeling exhilarated or conversely like you want to puke. Don't fear, this album avoids both.

Rest have many of the qualities necessary to make a good album. If they can get the jigsaw in the right order we could see much tighter material from them in the future.

Séamus Leonard

Tracklisting: Contraceptives - Our Friends Know Nothing About Density - To Learn - Mother - Burning in Water - Drowning in Flame - Beauty - Rest Go POP - Is Our Blood Not Enough?