LP2 is the full length debut for Restorations on SideOneDummy Records, released in April of last year, a band originating from Philadelphia and setting themselves out as a genuine rock outfit.
The album kicks off with the track simply named D and sets the tone for the rest of the record – a frantic song that serves as a quick introduction to the band’s musical prowess. The album rolls between gritty numbers with high-flying solos and more melancholy, grungy tracks with just a bit too much distortion for the average shoegazer – it’s definitely a showcase of what this band wants to achieve with their sound, but in trying to do all things at once there’s a slight feeling that the album lacks a bit of an identity.
It’s the ever-present challenge facing bands these days – to try and create a sense of musical identity that sets you apart from the others in what has to be one of the most saturated industries today. You will always hear people talking about a band that sounds just like X or sounds like Y’s second, more experimental album – surely the most frustrating and complementary comment anyone could throw in any band’s direction – and, be it good or bad, LP2 is no exception.
At a metaphorical crossroads between early Gaslight Anthem and a bit of Pearl Jam, the group are certainly capable of bringing out the odd song on the album that sounds like it could be a contender for the contemporary and – dare I say it – commercial music scene. Whether or not that’s their intent or whether they would view it as a positive thing, I can’t say but if we’re being realistic then they must know that they need a few songs of such an ilk to broaden their appeal.
That said, it’s definitely good value for its worth and you would do far worse than find yourself listening to this album. Personal highlights aside from the opening track were In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe and New Old as these, for me, were the best examples of what this band is about. The album still has a sound of a band working out the finer details and the production at times does remind me of a band’s early release. Is that a bad thing? Not by any stretch of the imagination – if anything it’s quite re-affirming that this band still have that rawness and that it does still translate across in their songs.
Usually bands that become too comfortable in their sound can transpose that in their songs; you can hear their complacency and the loss of whatever spark it was that brought them to your attention in the first place. Thankfully Restorations do not fit that category and if you can say anything about this release it’s that it has a real go at reminding the listener that some bands, even those with a relatively large amount of experience, haven’t lost their edge as their released records tally has risen.