Artist: Come and Rest
Album: Blacklist – EP
Sometimes, even when you write as many reviews as I do, and are constantly hunting for more bands and more music, you still get surprised. Those kind of surprises are the best—because frankly, they are true surprises. They aren’t the mind where something happens and the “shock” leaves you wanting (or is absent entirely). They truly jump out of the blue and knock you back a step or three—which is exactly what Georgia’s Come and Rest did to me. I expected ambiance—maybe some melancholy indie or soft and soothing post-rock. Instead, I was greeted with a head rush of aggression and adrenaline, kicking my heart into overdrive and gorging my arteries with fresh, hit blood. Blacklist is far from restful—a frantic amalgamation of crushing, ruthless metalcore and punchy, catchy post-hardcore that will appeal to fans of Barrier and Villains just as readily as it does to Vanna and Vanities enthusiasts. Come and Rest attack the listener with such zeal that their only option after hearing Blacklist is to relax and seek solace.
Blacklist is 500 ccs of caffeine right into the listener’s head, from the first jarring riff on “Millennials” to the raunchy grooves defining “Behind My Eyes.” Guitarists Daniel Goehring and Josh Harmon lead the charge, cutting deep into the listener’s skin with sharp, sinister riffs that waver from moments of dissonant devastation to uplifting harmony—all within the first minute of “Millennials.” Goehring and Harmon work together conversationally, easily flowing from driving, energetic chords in the chorus of the EP’s opening track (giving an immensely Hundredth-esque vibe) to raunchy brutality in “Soapbox” that seems like it may as well be ripped right out of a downtempo deathcore track. The duo weave like enraged serpents over a bed of earthy, dense percussion laid by Mitchell Garrett, who is just as diverse as Come and Rest’s resident riffsmiths. “Soapbox” is an excellent example of Garrett’s gargantuan talent, bouncing away with a hefty, punk-influenced pattern that showcases his sharp snare contrasting against his deep, rubbery kick drum. However, just when the listener gets used to it, Garrett drops into a quick, punishing breakdown defined by fleet footwork and ear-catching fills. The interplay between Garrett’s quick, simple base patterns and his detours into devilish technicality perfectly mirror Goehring and Harmon’s fretwork, giving Come and Rest a comprehensive and immersive instrumental dynamic.
Depending on where you pick up Blacklist, you might be awash in aggression or bathed in uplifting harmony and catchy, bouncy musicianship. Come and Rest’s vocal department is no different—in that frontman Noel Alejandro is frighteningly diverse, that is. However, even Alejandro’s softest moments (like the interlude on “Slowburn”) have teeth as sharp as a wolf’s. Alejandro—from the first seconds of “Millenials”—is ferocious, tearing great grisly chunks out of the listener’s head with each syllable. Grating away with raw, visceral mid-range shouts and harsh, strained clean vocals alike, Alejandro’s vocals are just as sharp as his wit—evident with his poetic turns of phrase in “Feeding Crows” and “Millennials.” Crafti catchiness out of the vocal equivalent of “elbow grease” and marvelous metaphors, Alejandro fills Come and Rest’s creative musicianship with meaning and purpose, giving the band a furious and full-bodied dynamic to be proud of.
Come and Rest are a band living on the edge. Several times during Blacklist, the band flirt with disaster. “Feeding Crows (Evermore)” would be dull if it weren’t for Alejandro’s incredible
penchant for poetry. “Behind My Eyes” might feel contrived and monotonous if it weren’t for the subtle grooves Goehring and Harmon sneak into each breakdown-turned-riff—just as the flashy fills Garrett lets rip in “Soapbox” give the song an incredibly unique feel. However, tracks such as the EP’s introductory jaunt, “Millennials” is an excellent example of the band roaring on all cylinders. Every aspect of the band’s dynamic comes together to entrance the listener with catchiness and crushing heaviness both, encouraging them to continue forward and brave the storm that Come and Rest have prepared for them.
Come and Rest are wolves in sheep’s wool—cliché as it sounds. On the surface, they appear to be four boys making innocent, meandering music. In actuality, they are monsters, hellbent on unleashing pure mayhem upon the listener. Blacklist is refined aggression given a slight sheen and delicate coat of wax such that it slides right into the listener’s head—and stays there until the listener can sleep it off.
For Fans Of: Vanna, Vanities, Barrier, Like Moths to Flames
By: Connor Welsh