Written 14th December 2009:
Stapleton – Rest and Be Thankful
“Stapleton? Never heard of them!” you’re probably thinking. “Are they new?” Well, to be honest I don’t know a great a deal about them myself but I will give you an overview of what I do know about them before reviewing the album. Ok so I first heard of Stapleton when they were the opening support band when for Idlewild at The Kentish Town Forum waaaaaaay back in March 2000, so that answers the question of how long they have been around for to start with. I was quite impressed with them live, with their punchy start/stop/start/stop Indie rock and catchy riffs and choruses, and even after hearing a few tracks on the radio, but for one reason or another I never did go out and buy their debut album ‘Rebuild the Pier’, so ended up not really knowing about what happened to them.
Fast forward 9 years and after a great conversation with a friend about do you remember ‘such and such’ band supporting ‘such and such’ band over the years I decided to find out whatever happened to this Scottish 4-piece. Well turns out they are still going strong despite even finding info about them on the internet a bit of a task in itself, but anyway I managed to get hold off their most recent album ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ (their 5th album I believe!) and this here blog be my thoughts.
Right, so ‘From Wood to Ridge’ opens and sets the tone for the rest of the album with its melodic rhythm trundling along patched with soft rock riffs interspersed throughout. It’s a nice opening track to the album but nothing that is gonna set the world alight, but with the anonymity of this band I don’t think they are concerned with that in the slightest. ‘Versus the Underground’ continues with the soft rock action and its steady drumming throughout with the nice catchy hook ‘and its goodbye to company’ coming in just before the chorus.
‘Tonight We Will Carry Him Home’ is not only a kick-ass great song title but also the first track I really get into when I listen to this album. Not quite sure why, I guess I just like the simple riff that repeats through the opening verse and the chorus is quite strong on this track as well. We then move on to ‘Absent Friends’, a much more slowed down track with another gentle guitar picking through it. Not a personal favourite of mine, but an inoffensive track all the less.
However, ‘Passing Places’ is one of my more favourite tracks on the album. With the most up-tempo rock opening to any track on the album this song coasts along nicely and features some nice lyrics probably about a relationship with another person as tends be the heart of great song lyrics, “Tell me when you are leaving/I’ll pretend that it’s ok/I can count the words without the use of fingers!”, good stuff. ‘Dear Dusk’, keeps up the newly lifted pace of the album and is another track I particularly like on the record, with another riff that loops through it but paces the song along nicely.
Track 7 ‘Borovets’, whatever that means, goes back to a slowed down affair before possibly my highlight of the album, a bit of a rock out towards the end of the track “I wish I had told you all that I wanted too, I wish I had told you all that I wanted too….” class stuff!! ‘Chez Chef’, was part of a former EP I think, but opens with a great little drum riff followed by a jangly guitar, before slowing for the chorus. It’s another great little track that helps the album along nicely and the verses and chorus will hook you whether you want them to or not.
‘Asking For You’ is, wooooooah, an instrumental! Haven’t heard one of them on an album for a while!! It’s alright though, but just goes on a bit too long in my opinion. Next we have ‘Birds in Formation’, this is a classic slowed down rock track before going into an up building verse, and this is another highlight of the album and a really great song. Last track ‘End and End Well’, in my opinion doesn’t end the album too well. It alright, a fun romp of a track but pales in comparison to its predecessor.
So was this journey of reminiscing about an obscure support band from 9 years ago worth it then?? Well in my opinion I really do like this album, it can be a little hit and miss and if you like your Indie heavier I would suggest to look elsewhere, but if you want a bit of a chilled out, melodic album to stick on as some background noise for doing some work, then this is recommended stuff, in fact I will give this 7 Rests and Thanks out of 10, so worth a look. I’m still hoping to obtain that debut album ‘Rebuild the Pier’ some nearly 10 years later as well, but have a feeling it may have been deleted, so if anyone can point me in the right direction of that one it would be most appreciated.
Thankfully Resting ‘Flynny’