Restorations – LP3 – [Album]

Restorations – LP3 – [Album]

Saturday, 02 January 2016



(Side One Dummy)

If The Constantines taught us anything in their decade-long run as the pre-eminent Canadian ambassadors to rock n’ roll before the Arts & Crafts artist roster showed the rest of the world that there was some great music being made in the great white North, they showed us that the secret to a great rock song isn’t always a mind-blowing riff – sometimes it has everything to do with sonic texture and a good vibe. Of course, in the five years since the band went on hiatus, some of that knowledge has been lost – but, as Restorations illustrate on LP3, not only did The Constantines leave a lasting impression on them, the band has refined that sound just a little and made a rock masterpiece which defies temporal placement (it could get called classic rock, new rock, post-punk – all those terms could fit), but lives and breathes with the heart and soul of rock music too.

From the moment “Wales” lays in and opens the record, listeners will know what it’s all about. There, the three-guitar textural assault built up by David Klyman, Jon Loudon and Ben Pierce begins to flay at listeners like a sandblaster does to a painted brick wall – it’s not violent per se, just ceaseless and abrasive. Likewise, Loudon’s throat threatens to chew listeners up and leave them both battered and mollified; already sounding as though he’s blown his throat out at least once during the recording sessions, there’s a cathartic tone in his voice which is as welcoming as it is acerbic.

With the precedents for LP3 set by “Wales,” Restorations spend the remaining eight songs on the album poinding and wowing listeners, and filling in all the spaces around that first mark to make an unforgettable impression. On “Separate Songs,” for example, Restorations retain the acerbic nature of the guitars and vocals, but insert just a bit of a heartbroken quiver which can make knees weak, while “Misprint” carefully and coyly strolls around a personified city as well as echoing The Constantines’ “National Hum” along the way. It might sound silly but, even in this early playing of LP3, listeners will quickly lose all interest in trying to leave the album behind; they’ll be hooked and always ready for another mathy salvo, each time the band begins another one.

Incredibly, Restorations ptove that they’re built to last as LP3 progresses, because they never drop the ball irredeemably or shake listeners so violently that they might find themselves inspired to cut out of the album early. Songs like “All My Home” (which wins hearts as glassy keyboards fill in the spaces around Loudon as he wonders whatever happened to his friends while he was away on tour) and “The Future” (which shimmers with a rusty horn section in the wings) fill in the underlying colors of a black and blue-eyed portrait and guarantee that those listening will be disinterested in finding an escape from this album. It feels strange to say that because, really, LP3 could never be mistaken for a typically friendly endeavor – in fact the textures on it often feel as though they could easily turn upon listeners at any moment. Even so though, LP3 holds listeners dearly – in its own way – and that’s all it needs to do in order to inspire a love affair in those who hear it.




LP3 is out now. Buy it here on Amazon.


Bill Adams

Comments are closed.