Beginning with a rather edgy guitar riff, opening track ‘Nails’ soon becomes a powerhouse of tight musicianship which rock and metal-heads the world over will find themselves head-banging along to. By the time the vocals kick in, it becomes something different; a unique mish-mash of powerful instrumentals and somewhat subdued, but sharp vocals – it shouldn’t work, and yet it does. Title track ‘Restless’ starts off in similar fashion, if not a little faster, but that doesn’t make for any vast improvement – if anything, it’s a little repetitive. Things do however get better with the introduction of ‘Whenever’ – the vocal performance in particular is much rougher sounding, perfect for the bands’ overall sound, and with the instrumentals rather laid back during the verses, the lyrics are also easy to pick up and sing along to should a listener wish to.
‘Bombs’ meanwhile begins with the guitar riffs removed and in their place stands a simple guitar sequence, which makes a nice change though the first verse in particular sounds like it’s being spoken rather than sung, though they do get better as the piece progresses. The almost melodic introductions continue with ‘The Fake’ – it’s almost as if you’re listening to a totally new band compared to the opening few numbers; there are few bands who can work this as well as Maplerun do.
By the time the riffs return to introduce ‘Screamout’, the band have hit their stride, each number flowing almost seamlessly into the next – clearly a lot of effort has gone into the order of the track-listing whereas ‘Everytime’ comes across more as of a ballad than anything else, a perhaps surprising inclusion, but an enjoyable listen.
It’s not long however before the expected tight musicianship returns, along with the strong vocals – sadly a lot of the heavier numbers on the album sound a little similar to one another so a few listeners may choose to skip ‘Buried Alive’, looking for something more exciting, but they won’t find it in ‘Pills’.
Coming in at a little over 5 minutes, ‘Around You’ is the longest piece on the album, but also the most unique – the guitars sound like something you’d find on a Dire Straits record, and it’s also the slowest number; far from exciting, but it’s hard to deny the versatility of the band on the back of this. It doesn’t take long however before the tempo kicks up back again with ‘Lack Of Words’ before coming right back down again – closing number ‘The Rain’ is calm and laid back, a surprising piece to end with, but a good demonstration of the groups’ talents nonetheless.