Written by: DR on 26/10/2011 14:30:22

Despite not taking an interest in punk to the point where I'd respectfully be able to call myself a punk 'fan', Restorations' "Strange Behaviour" EP is a record that I enjoyed, although I don't find myself coming back to it very often. A little over a year later, and the five-piece from Philadelphia are back will a new full-length, titled "Self-Titled".

There's something about punk music that, when done well, is always enjoyable to listen to. Restorations aren't just enjoyable to listen to, they're damn near irresistible. While decidedly and definitely a punk album, there's more to "Self-Titled" than the three-chord or short, aggressive song approach. They are more ambitious in their approach, more willing to take the tightly wound format of punk and meld indie influences into it, creating looser and more open songs that generally last around four or fives minutes. With a rhythm section that keeps true to punk as the lead-guitar draws from shoegaze and post-rock, the result is captivating. Think if Hot Water Music and CSTVT had a love-child.

The most impressive facet of what makes "Self Titled" such an excellent album isn't that they've combining those elements - they did so on "Strange Behaviour" and that was only 'good' - it's that they've done so, yet, somehow, have gained an immediacy that grabs the listener from the first spin. The opener is a fitting example of how well they pull this off as "NonLocality" is captivating right from the chord-strikes and the swirling ambiance beneath it. As the song progresses, those chords continue to keep the song grounded while the lead soars towards a post-rock-ish crescendo. The atmospheric thread continues throughout the record, and in the following song, "West River", compliments Jon Loudon's alcohol-stained voice and emotive lyrics. "Canadian Club" displays the bands very impressive rhythm section, while closer "When You're Older" subtly includes the bands country and americana roots in arguably the most layered and texturally rich effort on the album.

With "Self-Titled" Restorations aren't doing anything especially complex or overly complicated. It's a record of simplicity, and therein lies the beauty of it. By masterfully taking the clearly-defined punk format and seamlessly sewing spacious shoegaze into it, Restorations have not only crafted one of the top punk albums of 2011, but also a record that could, and should, extend beyond the hearts of genre aficionados.


Download: NonLocality, When You're Older
For The Fans of: If CSTVT and Hot Water Music had a love-child
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 19.04.2011
Tiny Engines

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