New West, 2013
The punk guy gone country might be cliché at this point, though when it’s done as well as Austin Lucas it’s hard to not be enamoured. Lucas has a voice made for rustic, warm Americana and here he uses it to guide us through folk, classic rock, bluegrass and even some subtle nods to his punk days. With members of Lucero in his backing band Glossary, you know the music is top notch and the storytelling is sincere and honest, largely fueled by the dissolution of marriage. If you’ve never heard Lucas, this is as great a place to start as any and contains some of his strongest work.
Site | Label | Insound
The most Memphis this band has ever sounded, the soul, blues, country and rock influences are more prominent than ever, and the horns brought in on the last record are highly utilised here. As per usual, there’s a good mix of upbeat bar rockers surrounded by quieter balladry, the calmer moments often reflecting on the ‘Women’ portion of the album title. Here Lucero prove they’re not merely a decent rock’n'roll band for a bunch of former punks, but are luminaries in their own right regardless of what scene they began in.
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Tiny Engines, 2012
These guys just might be the best band that exists today. Song “A” is a rustic, warm and slightly distorted track that is trademark Restorations – gritty, raspy and full of unclassifiable musicianship. Side “B” is perhaps the strongest song they’ve penned. An upbeat rocker with reverb that builds into a driving, rowdy adventure with guitar solos and choruses you can’t help but shout along to. Very likely to be the best 10 minutes of your day.
Links: Site | Buy It
Tiny Engines, 2011
Without one ounce of hesitation, Restoration’s self-titled full-length is on the short list of my favorite albums of 2011. The Philly-based five-piece play with a sombre sincerity, heavy and almost brooding in sound, but certainly not angry; while vocalist Jon Loudon’s raspy growls hold the perfect amount of weathered restraint. I’m hesitant to name a standout track, as the album deserves to be listened to as the cohesive piece that it is, but in need of a solid introduction, check out “Broken Vacuum” on the latter half.
Bermuda Mohawk Productions, 2011
Ramshackle Americana-folk-punk, think Lawrence Arms covering Murder By Death songs. Cue whiskey-rough vocals, raucous sing-alongs, banjos galore, the odd jubilant harmonica solo, and a decent debut record climbing out of the wreckage.
Paper + Plastick, 2010
Recent Paper + Plastick signees Restorations come out swinging on their debut 4-track EP Strange Behavior, released digitally on May 4th with a 12 inch vinyl edition forthcoming. This isn’t your average “young, loud, and snotty” punk record, but rather a taste of more lush, complex instrumentation and slow, lingering melodies that work themselves into your brain for days to come. Recommended for fans of Jena Berlin and Lucero.