Reviews Restorations LP2

Restorations

LP2

Is classic rock punk now a genre? I don’t have a whole lot of background with Restorations, other than catching half a set at Fest 11 last year. The energy in the room was powerful and vocalist Jon Loudon had a distinct and memorable voice, of the raspy variety. What I get in LP2, my first recorded introduction to the band, comes as a surprise. The more punk atmosphere of the live set really doesn’t permeate this record, which is a lumbering, meticulous beast of a rock album. It may not have the solos and flair of so-called classic rock (the genre), but it has the ambition and huge ascetic that the style is known for. 

The tone of the record is one “where nobody knows your name,” to pull the refrain from final track “Adventure Tortoise.” The record is a loner, cycling through the world without standing out among the crowd, instead quietly doing your job and moving on. “I just want to work my job and come home,” Loudon expresses in “In Perpetuity throughout the Universe.” There’s definitely a touch of weariness within, mostly in his vocal expression, but the lyricism itself lends more toward a disinterest in the mainstream community, a carefully crafted distance.

Complementing the weary vocal tone is an everyman ambition. It reaches for Springsteen, but is a bit more Ben Nichols in its pull. It’s worldly and literate, but feels a bit more on the outsider-looking-in variety. His voice is similar in sound to that of Bryan Webb (Constantines). The guitars use precisely timed flourishes to complement and emphasize mid-tempo jams. The songs build an atmospheric tone with rise and fall action from the lead while a steady rhythm plays in the background, sometimes utilizing a third guitar as well. The songs are led by Carlin Brown’s drum work, which delivers much of the punch on LP2, steadily controlling the record’s volume and pace without stepping into the spotlight.

Fans of any of the references dropped above should definitely check this out, as Restorations play the style better than most—it’s just not a personal preference as the pacing of some of the songs tends to drag as you get further into the album and it has less thunder than the live set. LP2 reaches for epic, but comes up a bit shy.

Standouts include “Civil Inattention” and “Let’s Blow Up the Sun.”

7.0 / 10Loren
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