Restorations

Strange Behavior EP

Written by: DR on 22/11/2010 18:43:21

I've never really been one for punk, but the latest release from quintet Restorations is a record that definitely appeals to me. But what appeals to me? That includes (but is not limited to) airy soundscapes, dreamy guitars and passionate vocals; this could be why I've taken to Restorations, because despite carrying a "punk" feel, they use, to some extent, those things.

After reading their bio, I was expecting, as soon as I clicked the play button, to be greeted with Fugazi-esque noisy post-hardcore, simply because out of the bands they list as influences they are the only ones I'm familiar with. This turned out not to be the case as they are nothing like Fugazi. So, I checked out the rest of their influences. On the face of it names like Constantines, Red Collar and Lucero are certainly appropriate comparisons, and I can see why fans of them might be attracted to these. It's clearly inspired by punk, indie, rock, and at their quieter moments, instrumental indie/shoegaze. However, inexplicably, they don't list The Gaslight Anthem among their influences; to me, that's the vibe I get as soon as "Title Track" starts, the vocals in particular sound a lot like Brian Fallon and maybe even a quieter Al Barr (Dropkick Murphys). Underneath it, the production is lo-fi, allowing the vocals to sound raw, whilst giving the instruments plenty of space to work with and switch between folky riffs or relatively open soundscapes.

"Linear Notes", the stand out song, has the feel of a The Gastlight Anthem song that chose to focus more on atmospheric dynamics - this spacious feel is helped by the lo-fi production which pushes the vocals to the very front of the mix - yet at the same time they manage to maintain a straight "rock" approach . There are two vocalists, one of which possessing a gruff, melodic punk-ish yell quality, and the other being a more tuneful clean voice.

The final two songs allow the band to be somewhat looser; "The Reappearing American Hobo" is a quieter effort that eventually grows louder, pairing up those tuneful cleans with female vocalist Frances Quinlan. Seven minute "Documents" is touched with Bear vs Shark influence for the first half, but that fades and in comes a shoegaze build up the final three minutes ala Victor! Fix The Sun and Castevet.

In an interview Jon Loudon (guitar/vocals) stated that a friend of his described the band as "slow alcohol punk", which is a pretty dead on summary of their sound. They may surprise you with how subtly ambitious their soundscapes are and how they seem to draw influence from different corners of punk. Let's hope that carries over into their full-length.

7

Download: Documents, Linear Notes
For The Fans of: The Gaslight Anthem, Red Collar, Lucero
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 04.05.2010
paper + plastick

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