Restorations – LP2
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Record Label: Side One Dummy
A few months ago when I first pressed play on Restorations’ LP2, I immediately tweeted that this record was going to be 2013’s On The Impossible Past. I mean, that sounds like a great compliment, if only for the fact that The Menzingers’ fantastic 2012 effort was AbsolutePunk’s number one album of 2012. Later on though, I thought it was kind of a shitty thing for me to immediately put the Philly quintet’s Side One Dummy debut into a box like that. At the very least, it was fairly lazy of me. Because while there are moments that remind me of The Menzingers, there are even more moments on LP2 that shows off the varying layers and styles of the band. The Menzingers are a great band, but instead of creating a “made for press releases” quote stating that Restorations are the next this, I’m gonna spend my time telling you how uniquely refreshing LP2 is.
We’re gonna talk about how awesome the sprawling opener, “D,” is; with its beacon of gnarly guitar riffs shining through as Jon Loudon’s gruff vocals pace the track. It’s a rousing, anthemic beginning that will excite you for the rest of what LP2 has to offer. Or how the jangly “Let’s Blow Up The Sun” has an Americana vibe while also being absolutely crushing. And your ears will be pleased by the soft strumming that opens up “Civil Inattention,” giving you an intimate feeling before suddenly shooting into your veins with a sudden rush of adrenaline.
As I alluded to earlier, no two songs on LP2 sound alike. “Kind of Comfort” is paced by bassist Dan Zimmerman with the occasional guitar solo showing up here and there, and held afloat by the song’s delicious harmonies, while “New Old” is an up-and-down punk number that explodes into an all-encompassing outro (Carlin Brown’s drumming is a treat). And the weary yet airy moments of slow-burners like the fuzzy “In Perpetuity Throughout The Universe” work as the perfect set-up for in-your-face tracks like “New Old.”
The last three tracks of LP2 are a smorgasbord different genres and arrangements. “Quit” is a sludgy alt-rocker that harkens back to the 90s, with its creeping bass line and spazzy guitar licks, while “The Plan” is the kind of folk-punk song that wouldn’t sound out of place on the last Gaslight Anthem album as well as Restorations’ first LP.
This all paves the way for the six minute “Adventure Tortoise,” which is part post-rock, part celebration rock. It’s a fantastic closer that once again proves how Restorations are more than your average punk-rock band. What makes Restorations so appealing is how they blend the album’s more urgent moments within the expansive and loud universe it creates. Instead of structuring LP2 in way where it’s like track 1 is the punk song, track 2 is the folk song, track 3 is the experimental song, and so forth and so on, Restorations does an impeccable job of blending all those genres into bold, exciting arrangements that distinguish themselves from the rest of the punk rock pack. So no, Restorations aren’t the next Menzingers or Gaslight Anthem or whatever punk-band you want to insert here. Rather, they’re one of a kind - the “first” Restorations if you will – and a band other bands will start aspiring to be. And that's pretty damn awesome.
really really good album. I agree that they can't really be compared to other stuff out there. The best I can do is "Japandroids playing Hold Steady songs" but even that doesn't really cover it. Its something that is new and different and just needs to be listened to. So if you haven't already just go listen to the album. And if you have already you probably want to listen to the album again anyways.
Awesome album. I can't even make comparisons, but it's something special and a breath of fresh air for the "punk" scene. I can only hope these guys begin to get the exposure that The Menzingers received after OTIP though I don't really see them doing arena tour with Rise Against lol.