Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Album Review: Restorations

Diversity in genre is a fantastic thing when it comes to music. When it comes to Restorations, their influences come from, effectively, just about everything from hardcore to shoegaze, hitting stoner metal, roots rock, hardcore, post-punk, and everything therebetween. The Philadelphia outfit exemplifies how you can have such diversity in sound, and still create a fantastic record. After a hard-hitting release on their Strange Behavior EP, Restorations comes back around for even more on this self-titled full length, keeping true to their keeping true to their punk / post-rock / indie sound.
The opener on the album, "NonLocality", takes on a lo-fi, laid back air, with atmospheric clean guitars, laying down a simple, homely melody, as Jon Louden sings in a gravelly tenor, backed by fellow guitar / vocalists Ben Pierce and Dave Klyman, in choir-like effect. In the background, an atmospheric guitar pulls emotion-loaded tremolos and powerful pick slides in post-rock fashion, merging ambient with alternative in a neat mixture of styles, showing off how creativity, a vast array of influences, and self-inspired passion can implicate one another to form a fantastic piece of music.

"Broken Vacuum", the seventh track on the record, sounds at first like some ambient mess of bass and electronic distortion, but kicks into gear as a mid-90's alternative, Jets to Brazil-esque song. However, with the diversity in chords and song structure, it sounds, to put it simply, much more mature, layered guitars and employment of softer vocals and quieter sections put to an advantage over something simply punk, or anything else set on one genre. "Broken Vacuum" is another fantastically constructed example of how Restorations can take some of the most well recognized and effective aspects of different styles of music and put them to use in their own assembly of songs.

I feel like I can really connect to this record, having grown up in the 90's myself, I found myself being drawn towards the softer side of punk, early emo, and post-rock later on. With tracks like "Val d'Or", "When You're Older", and "Broken Vacuum", I'm brought back to those times, but also enjoy experiencing a similar but more evolved taste of that kind of music at the same time. Meanwhile, there were some other tracks that simply oozed musicality, whether you were into the type of the music it was inspired by or not. "West River" was just an undeniably connectable song, that made me feel hopeful with inspiring lyrics and even better melody; meanwhile, while listening to "Sideways House", I could feel there was a lot of power behind the pushing bass and riffing guitars, while Louden yelled out visual imagery in his harsh voice to even further enhance the darker feel of the song. This record was really something interesting, and it shouldn't be hard to find one's own self attracted to this record because the tracks take root in so many different genres, and it's such an easy listen.

You can stream and buy the album on their site, and you can read about them and like them on FaceBook.

Track Listing:
1) NonLocality
2) West River
3) Neighborhood Song
4) Canadian Club
5) Val d'Or
6) Sideways House
7) Broken Vacuum
8) When You're Older

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