New writers do not need to invent new kinds of social media blogging in order to be considered creative; a well-written novel has every right to be called “literature” no matter how many mediocre novelists have come before. The same is true for musicians; not everyone needs to blaze new trails to touch on greatness. Would the Beatles really be any less captivating had they come around a few years later? They didn’t need to be the first rock-‘n’-rollers to be among the most renowned, just as with Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, or the Foo Fighters. Likewise, for every rock group trying to pioneer a new sub-genre, there are several others who thrive in the more firmly established scene, adding their own voice and flair to a rich musical tradition spanning decades of talented bands. Conversely, while there are throngs of musical “freeloaders” living off catchy tunes, basic chord progressions, and effortless lyrics, there’s a much smaller community that still innovates – they’re hard at work writing personal stories, untested riffs, and rousing choruses.
The Restless Venture are in the latter category. Bursting forth into the English rock arena in 2013 with their debut EP Blame, they are clearly not just another brick in the wall. Much in the same way that Blue Helix takes prog rock/metal as a template and infuses their own soul into it, the Restless have a natural gift for making traditional rock anything but ordinary. Right out of the gate, their song “Both Barrels” lives up to its name with a double-punch. It begins with some basic strumming that sets up the expectation of another easy rock song, but comes in firing all cylinders moments later. In stark contrast to that high-energy opening, “The Way I Do” is a drop into a much more mellow mood, evoking a long drive through the night with strained love weighing on the heart.
While each track deserves its own attention, suffice for this limited space to say that not one of them feels manufactured; each has a lyrical authenticity and emotional freshness that commands attention ordinarily given to much more seasoned rockers. While a full album would be a welcome test of Venture’s abilities, a second EP entitled Mosaic is due later this year. After seeing how their talents pan out in a second offering, they will ideally have the opportunity to put out a lengthier record if they can keep up the great work.