Written by: TL on 28/02/2014 12:40:08

Philadelphia-based five-piece Restorations - who are playing in Copenhagen in little over two months - are a band that had been rummaging at the edge of my sphere of awareness for a while until PP convinced me to check them out at last year's FEST12, where the band summoned up such a dedicated crowd response that one could hardly but make a note to check them out upon returning to the familiar world of one's headphones. Eventually popping on the band's second album however - last year's Led Zeppelin-ishly titled "LP2" - it soon becomes poignant to observe that despite their punk band status, calling Restorations punk is a truth with a few modifications.

On one hand you have a band here that recently abandoned their facebook page because people "deserve a more useful website to keep track of things, not a data-mining ad factory." and which has exactly the fuzzy quality and the raw, beer-and-whisky soaked vocals of your typical Midwest punk rock band. Fair enough, but on the other you have a band whose songs are so long in live rendition that you can hardly squeeze five of them into a half hour slot, and whose music revolves around anything but three-chord progressions and breakneck beats. So while Restorations may be punk in terms of attitude and production aesthetics, they certainly are not in terms of composition - and that's what's special about them.

You see, Restorations are a band that wants to build big, as big as a prog- or a post-rock band, but unlike those they don't want to waste your time getting there. Their instrumentals want to jump up a snow-capped mountain in three strides and then just spin around dizzyingly until the horizon blurs. Take opener "D", which opens with a wailing tremolo that you could almost sing "Amazing Grace" over, as consciously American in tone as Titus Andronicus' "A More Perfect Union". The bass then comes rollicking in along with energetic drums, electrifying the whole thing while main singer Jon Loudon exclaims "I have no interest in that kind of competition!"

In further similarity to Titus Andronicus, Restorations flash their punk roots more via the ideologies of their lyrics, which seem intent on withdrawing and reconciling oneself outside of the rat race of a suffocating system. If the instrumentals want to stand on top of mountains drinking the air greedily, then the lyrics "just want to work my job and come home", perhaps drinking a beer with a sense of satisfaction in the mountain's shadow, being "no longer scared, or terrified all the time" (from "Civil Inattention"). And persistently, the expansive energy of bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin course underneath the punk-rock stylings, all the way until "Adventure Tortoise" longs for a place "where nobody knows your name, where nobody's heard of your town"

As such, "LP2" is a record that lives and dies by the idea of sounding huge and booming for almost all of its duration - How could it not with song titles like "Let's Blow Up The Sun" and "In Perpetuity Throughout The Universe"? If you sense a remark about lacking dynamics coming however, you're not unlike some kind of Nostradamus, because indeed "LP2"'s primary drawback is likely to be found in this department. It's not the record that takes you and lifts you up into its own anthemic mood - and perhaps here and there it even lacks the consistency in refrains to match its majestic instrumental approach. It can satisfy you for as long as you need though, so long as it already finds you in the mood, and yet something - just something - keeps telling me that Restorations have room to get even better.

Download: Let's Blow Up The Sun, Civil Inattention, Adventure Tortoise
For The Fans Of: Titus Andronicus, Make Do And Mend, Fucked Up

Release Date 02.04.2013
SideOneDummy / Tiny Engines / Poison City / Paper + Plastick / Cavity / Evil Weevil

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