RESTORATIONS – ” LP5000 “

Posted: September 25, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

LP5000, is the sardonically titled follow-up to 2014’s LP3, “No, I don’t wanna hear that name again,” Jon Loudon sighs during “Melt,” as the dreamiest but bleariest Restorations song yet recreates the feeling of breaking a promise to yourself not to check Twitter the moment you wake up.

Over the course of its catalouge, it’s become evident that Restorations’ output is more than the sum its parts, with cathartic choruses, gratuitous guitars and honest admissions of anxiety declared at decibels that reach the rafters. While this Philadelphia five-piece shares characteristics of its contemporaries, the kind of bands making guitar-and-gravel-voiced celebration rock.

At just seven tracks,LP5000, the group’s first album in four years, is a cohesive distillation of what the band does best: In under 30 minutes, there’s both heft and heart, incendiary musicianship and insightful meditations on the relationships we forge and the toll time takes on us and our surroundings. The lead-off track, “St.,” offers an invitation for the uninitiated; like the band’s logo, it’s a welcoming open door of sorts: “I’ll tell you what you already know / You can’t do this all on your own.” Restorations still stand alongside bands like the Constantines and Menzingers on a thorny branch of the Tree of Springsteen. It doesn’t take much to pierce this armor of red flannel and Born to Run vinyl, to release repressed feelings of masculine shame and creeping obsolescence that explain why these guys sound like they have to drink themselves to sleep every night. “Remains” is a rollicking realization that the place you once knew has become unrecognizable (“And now you can’t afford to live in the town you were born in”). The stunning single “The Red Door” twinkles, balancing defeatist impulses with a shaken sense of perseverance.

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The peaks of LP3 were pure wish fulfillment for workingman’s dread: “Imagine that focus in real life/Imagine going outside,” Loudon roared over Telecaster feedback on “Separate Songs,” a call to throw your laptop from a moving car. “Misprint” could make anyone cooped inside a compact stuck on the interstate feel like they were cruising down some bucolic back road instead. Those moments don’t ring false in 2018, but they do seem like emotional luxuries we can no longer afford. “Threw your back out just trying to stand up straight,” Loudon sings now during opener “St.” Regardless of how hard they thrash and throttle, Restorations land on the resilience to make it through this shit, one day at a time.

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