'55:12' was a very conflicting record for me. Essentially, Gregor Samsa is a heavily post-rock leaning Low tribute band and '55:12' perfectly encapsulated that. Although that record is certainly a great listen, the movement and song structure is painfully obvious. The pick-ups in tempo, the crescendos, every moment of '55:12' has an overwhelming simplicity to it. I'm not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly does effect the replay value of that record. With 'Rest,' it seems as if the group is taking strides towards being an artistically legitimate entity. Early Gregor Samsa evoked a Sigur Ros sense of stagnancy that has almost been completely thrown away with the developments made on 'Rest'. Kayo Dot alumni and Ghastly City Sleep members make guest appearances, but little of this is obvious. 'Rest' is still the Gregor Samsa of '55:12', but they've grown up. 'Rendered Yards' pulls off a gorgeously effective inclusion of vocals in a seemingly operatic style. Even in the slow beginning of 'The Adolescent,' it is pretty obvious that this record isn't going to contain the same noise heavy moments of 'Makeshift Shelters,' and while that is a slight disappointment, Gregor Samsa's incorporation of a chamber music styled line-up is equally as exciting. 'Ain Leuh' demonstrates why that is about a minute in when it bursts into a dazzling mini-crescendo, which is really unexpected for a band that previously prided themselves on their unabashed slow dredges to glorious conclusions. Lead vocalist Champ Bennett evokes a Ben Gibbard with a soul (Although, Gibbard's inclusion on 'Lost Verses,' Mark Kozelek's opening track to 'April,' has me thinking maybe Ben can still accomplish something a little credible) and Mia Matsumiya proves once again that her flawless technique can easily make a good album great. In other words, the ambient soundscapes, the excellently contrasting vocals, and the pop sensibility from ’55:12’ is all here, the group has just really embellished on their old methods.
'April' is a pretty easy record to sum up; eleven tracks of the most pure sincerity that deal with a variety of rekindled feelings. 'Tonight the Sky' perfectly encapsulates Neil Young in his Harvest era. 'Tonight in