ALBUM REVIEW: Calm For The Restless – Finish What You Started

Hertfordshire’s Calm For The Restless formed back in 2007, and it’s taken them two EPs and eleven years to release their debut album. Inspired to form when watching InMe at Reading Festival, their experiences to date have led them to release the pop-rock filled release Finish What You Started.

The Destination provides a short, intriguing introduction, with funky guitar lines and thrashing drumlines from Mike Westwood we can visualise this being used as the band’s set opener. Short, sweet and a great starting point. Chase A Life is the first full-length track and the real opener trying to steal our attention. Undeniably the guitar work here is explosive and hook-filled but the track, in general, is lacking a spark. This is a continuous theme as we head into single I’m A Lion. Following the same structure once again, except for taking everything down a tempo, it’s becoming hard to distinguish between tracks even this early on. Here Leon Macauley’s vocals lack the power needed to stay afloat until support from gang vocals come into play. It’s as if Calm For The Restless are afraid to take a leap into the unknown and explore new territory – we just hope that the second half of the release turns it into something memorable.

A twangy guitar line comes from the onset of Brothers, with spoken vocals finally giving Macauley a chance to show what vocal talents he really does have. There’s a real sense of positivity and hope shown vocally as we make our way through the release, shown once again during delicate Moving On. The song oozes in hope and reflection: “I think of the good old days and they’ll always be in my heart,” about a time that is now in the past but will always mean a lot to you. We’ve all been there, let’s be honest.

We Need To Wake Up steals the show on this release and it feels like we’re listening to a whole new band as strings, delicate guitars and sincere vocals glisten. Everyone loves a heartfelt singalong anthem and this is Finish What You Started’s edition. Entwined within a release of underwhelming, lack lusting tracks, We Need To Wake Up stands out for all the right reasons and we’re already struggling to get it out of our heads.

Closer and longest track, previous single Years, follows in the same vein as faded guitar lines weave their way between big, bold vocal lines and layered harmonies. Admittedly this isn’t the strongest debut we’ve heard from a pop-rock band and we might not remember it in six months time, but as sung in Years, “your words can’t hurt me, I’m going to do this for me,” and that’s what Calm For The Restless have done. They’ve created a debut album full of music they enjoy and feel proud of, and with a little tweaking in the next release we’ll hopefully have more favourable words to say.


Standout Track: We Need To Wake Up

For Fans Of: Biffy Clyro, Don Broco, InMe

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar