It’s probably fair to say that Restorations don’t clearly spend a lot of time thinking up album titles or indeed waste any inventiveness on it. Thankfully, the same could not be said of their music which certainly isn’t predictable. They may have their roots within the American punk rock scene but on each album they have shown a level of diversity which often escapes some of their peers.
This album opens up in bombastic style with “Wales”, a song which has a cacophony of sounds and a level of intensity that makes it come across like a hardcore band covering a Doors’ song. The next songs, “Separate Songs” and “Misprint” are perhaps more in keeping with the style we might expect to hear from the Restorations. They have that US punk/alternative sound we hear from bands like The Menzingers and Against Me. However, “Separate Songs” has a sense of space and lyrical style, which is more in line with The Hold Steady. It’s a combination that remains intense and hard but with a feel of melody supporting the songs. This is all taken a bit further with “Tiny Prayers” which adds a bit of punk Springsteen sound in to the mix, which is never a bad thing!
They slow the pace down on “All My Home” but this is really just to allow the melody of the song to breathe. They keep things slower on “The Future”, but this time it is a far more epic sounding track. It slowly builds through the verses until it reaches a crescendo in the chorus. At the opposite end we have “Most Likely A Spy” which is perhaps the band at their most commercial with a song that could even feature on a Foo Fighters’ album.
The album is sadly soon at an end when we reach “It’s Not” which opens with some neat slide guitar which gives it an almost country rock n roll sound. It starts off giving the impression that it will be the most straight forward track on the album. However, it builds from being a rocking track to a hugely epic song that Pearl Jam would be proud of.
This is a fast paced, short, sharp album which still manages to deliver a wide breath of material that demonstrates that Restorations are not content to peddle out the same sound on each album. They offer an inventiveness which almost feels like they are always trying to catch their fan base out. The success of this is that it allows them to develop with each album and yet still retain their own identity. They have a determined and almost serious sound which has been successful in nurturing a loyal and passionate fan base, who will lap up this new release and eagerly await the wild live shows that will inevitably accompany them.