Published Oct 24, 2014Since 2008, Philadelphia's Restorations have suffered from not being easily classifiable; there are elements of sprawling post-punk, gutsy Americana and charging Springsteen-esque rock in nearly every one of their tracks. Their third full-length is no different in that regard, but the band have ditched the murky and plodding touches that dragged down LP2, delivering nine uplifting and inspired tracks.
The mystery lies in lead singer Jon Loudon's continued commenting on society in a paranoid manner while the rest of the band brim with enthusiasm; first single "Separate Songs" features Loudon snarling in a husky drawl in the vein of Bry Webb, lamenting how insular those around him have become. Meanwhile, the three-guitar assault creates a tidal wave of a chorus. Restorations have always shown sky-high aspirations, and LP3 achieves that grandiose sound that once seemed slightly out of reach.
"Tiny Prayers" is an album highlight. A swirling verse simmers before Loudon ditches his scruffy snarl for an impassioned scream: "I can't find a better used for my time." Even the nearly seven-minute "It's Not" features a bouncy riff held afloat by drummer Carlin Brown's consistency.
If anything, LP3 is cut short too soon. At 40 minutes, it's their longest full-length, but with only nine tracks, they haven't given their grand vision enough time to play out. Still, Restorations have left everything on the table with LP3, and the enormity of their vision as a rock band has largely been realized. (Side One Dummy)