Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some Notes on Restorations and Signals Midwest

I've made no secret of the fact that I thought the self-titled album by Philadelphia's Restorations was as good as any album by any band anywhere in 2011. Well, now I can report that their live show is every bit as powerful as what they do in the studio. These are guys who, in a live setting, give off the feeling that they've just been released from detention. They're happy to be there, they like the songs they have to play, and they play it like they mean it.

The photo above, taken by Agatha Donkar (check out her excellent work here and here), is from the set they played Saturday night at Durham's Motorco Music Hall as part of the release party for local heroes Red Collar and their new album Welcome Home (out in physical form in June on Tiny Engines -- I'll have a review soon -- its top shelf). My daughter and I arrived early because we had to leave early, and had the pleasure of getting to meet Jon Loudon, singer/guitarist for Restorations (pictured center, above), as well as Will Miller, one of the masterminds of Tiny Engines, which is building a roster stocked with some of the best bands in the country -- including both Restorations and Red Collar.  Both are fantastic guys, and it would be easy to support them even if they weren't currently doing what they do better than anyone.

We also had the great pleasure of seeing a set by another Tiny Engines, band, Cleveland's Signals Midwest. I'll have more on them in a future post, but trust me, you need to put them on your list of bands to catch live.  It's genuine punk music that's melodic, but it would be something of an injustice to call it pop. Check it out for yourself -- this is from a split 7" released earlier this year with California's The French Exit:

But back to Restorations -- I was happy to hear that these guys are energized by the universal acclaim for last year's record, and are planning to keep things going for the foreseeable future to see how things unfold.  To that end, they've got a 7" coming out next month called "A/B". The front song of that record, "A", is streaming over at AltPress, and could well be the song of the year, with beautifully sung and interesting lyrics winding between columns of power chords.  It doesn't get much better.

Restorations Tumblr page

Restorations Bandcamp page

Signals Midwest Tumblr page

Signals Midwest Bandcamp page

Tiny Engines Records

Tiny Engines at Bandcamp

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