Restorations – [EP]

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

This isn't meant to sound petulant, but “rare birds” are so-called for a reason and it is this: evolution is cruelest to those creatures that don't easily fit in. Most often, “rare birds” meet unfavorable ends because they have no place of their own and no community. It's a grim reality, but it is the reality which will cause those who find Restorations to hope that the band hangs around for a while; their debut EP, Strange Behavior, is a beguiling creature, and those who hear it will want to know what happens next.

From the opening sprawl of “title track,” listeners will be able to recognize right away that they're in for something a little different. Here, Restorations combines the growl of post-punk with the warm, “come together” vibes of Sixties-spawned acoustic bands and, finally, just the slightest hint of Constantines-esque math rock. It sounds so simple, but it will blow the minds of listeners when they realize that they've really heard nothing like it before; Restorations' delivery is perfectly unique and, once it starts, it will be absolutely impossible to ignore.

All of the most important elements of Strange Behavior are already locked solidly into place at the opening of that “title track” and listeners will be ready to fall right in with the band as drummer Carlin Brown knocks out a folksy rhythm and bassist Mike Drelling pins down a beautifully melodic low end, on top of which guitarist/vocalists Dave Klyman and Jon Loudon sit comfortably growling out an unlikely but heart-melting, modern and melodic form of post-punk/folk.

The whole mess is a mouthful, but prototypes often are – and Restorations is that. In that opening “title track,” they easily convince listeners to bear with them and follow along too.

After the quick exit of “title track,” the hits just keep coming as “Linear Notes”  looks a little more closely at a “Constantines” form of anthemic rock grandeur, opening with airy, wonderfully arpeggiated guitars that will make the little hairs on the necks of listeners stand on end in anticipation  before sheets of dense rhythm  crash through the chorus and somehow incite involuntary sighs of relief from them. The result is an incredibly cathartic release but, unlike every other band in rock, Restorations create that result without kicking every distortion stomp box at their disposal into action – they simply do it by presenting a raw, emotional delivery, naked and true. After that, they must know they won't be able to pull off the same sort of emotional climax twice on an EP, so they turn their attention to other brands of fireworks for excitement on the flipside of the record with no letdown. With Frances Quinlan's help on half of the vocals, “the reappearing american hobo” sees the band managing to turn in a tempestuous love song before they launch into the stratosphere with guitars blazing and no holding back in “Documents.” It's not as if Restorations does some kind of authoritative about-face for “Documents,” the band simply takes the elements they've already established on the first side of Strange Behavior and expands them; giving every part of the composition more space and the freedom to just roll out easily without bothering to hold back or censor themselves. It's interesting to hear; “Documents” leaves listeners with a really good impression for what the band's live shows are like.

With the four tracks assembled as they are on Strange Behavior, the result amounts to a surprising portrait left in the mind's eye of listeners in regards to what exactly Restorations is. On this EP, the band gives listeners an enticing taste of what they have in store on future releases, and it sounds like a very attractive prospect; the sounds of Strange Behavior could prove to be habit-forming if Restorations keep it up.



Strange Behavior is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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