We all have our closely held favorites. The records that feel like they belong only to us. The records that haven’t been ruined by overexposure and incessant hype. The records that make us instantly bond with other people who understand our secret. They’re not just our favorites, they’re special. They’re different.
There is a flipside to that, of course: I always have a tendency to feel that those records I love and few other people have heard are made by artists who clearly aren’t getting paid enough, and deserve to be playing to larger audiences. But then again, I do my best to be an advocate for great artists, so here’s a band you should definitely check out if you haven’t yet.
Restorations first caught my attention back in 2014 when they released their third album, LP3. Basically, there’s not much romance or mystery to how I found them. My friend Jamie, their publicist at the time, just said “hey dude, you’ll absolutely love this, guaranteed.” And I gave it a listen right away. And holy crap, were they good. (Naturally, I pre-ordered this almost instantly after hearing the album—look at that pretty splatter!)
The Philadelphia band is ostensibly a punk group, but more accurately they’re a hybrid of post-hardcore and heartland rock. Like Fugazi playing Bruce Springsteen songs, but with a little bit of American Football’s math-rock riff stuff. It’s the kind of sound that instantly clicks all the right boxes and puts me in a state of euphoria. Some of their tracks are heavier and harder rocking, some of them a bit more spacious and pretty. And then there’s “Separate Songs,” which was THE anthem of 2014. (Yeah, Future Islands had a pretty good one too.) But it’s the kind of song I’d play over and over again and put on mixtapes for people if I still did that. (Which I might again, we’ll see.)
Once Jamie hipped me to the band, I turned several friends on to them, but that still doesn’t seem like nearly the level of attention they deserve. Still, those that have heard this record—they know. They understand.
Sound Quality: Great