. . .
Though Philadelphia’s Restorations have been releasing albums since 2011, I didn’t discover them until their third album, 2014’s helpfully entitled LP3, which established them as a post-millennial player of what Mike Scott of The Waterboys would call “The Big Music.”
Over the years, I’ve been an off-and-on sucker for bands that specialized in this kind of sound, and while Restorations sound nothing like The Waterboys (that would be their fellow Philadelphians The War on Drugs), they do have have a kind of post-grunge grandeur in their music, which is all massive highs punctuated by near-silence.
And son, on a song like “Misprint,” a mountain of guitars start banging a couple of chords back and forth with a lead guitar providing a pretty glorious hook, and this goes on for a longer time than you might expect, until the guitars quiet down while the hook keeps playing, so that lead singer Jon Loudon can rasp his vocals, sometimes accompanied by a choir of “ahhhhhhhhhhhs,” sometimes not.
Nostalgia by a fake name
The time it takes to put these things away
Tell me what’s been digging at you
This city’s so quiet some nights
After the second verse, there’s a build, and then the song comes to a complete stop. Dead silence. What I like about a song like “Misprint” is the confidence they clearly have in their arrangements. That they would come to a dead stop like that, taking the risk that a listener might say “fuck this, I’m done.” Instead, to what is literally only a quiet guitar, Loudon sings:
There’s this low hum on our closed-circuit timeline
There’s this low hum of the things we left behind
After which, the entire universe explodes once again, and he somehow sings it again while bombs are bursting in air, after that, they slowly bash their way to the end of the song.
“Misprint” live on KEXP, 2015
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