Thursday, April 4, 2013


A week before his band unveils its second record, Restorations' singer and guitarist Jon Loudon recounts the circumstances leading to LP2's release in a voice tinted with surprise—satisfied surprise, but surprise nonetheless. "A bunch of really good things [happened] all at once," he says. "We did that A/B seven-inch, and that went over way better than anyone expected. SideOne was interested, we had a good tour, and we had a bunch of new material."

Though this seems like a lot of excitement for any band in a single year, Loudon's surprise still seems strange. After all, A/B was ranked among the best singles of the year by several punk-rock publications, and for good reason. Released by Tiny Engines in the spring of 2012, the record rumbles with melody—layers of murmuring chords that seem to crumble beneath their own weight, embellished with glimmering guitars and Loudon's soaring voice. From the opening of "A"—dense and leaden, stomping to drummer Carlin Brown's bruising beat—to the climatic conclusion of "B", whose cavernous chords and haunting vocal harmonies build into a driving, droning groove from which Dave Klyman's guitar seems to wildly squirm, the record seems miraculously contained on a mere seven inches of colored wax.

The songs were enough to attract the attention of SideOneDummy, who agreed to release LP2 the following spring. "That changed everything," Loudon laughs. "From that day on, we were like 'Oh fuck! We're going to have to make a record and it's got to be alright!' That kind of kicked out butts into gear and they got us into that mentality we're in now."

For this reason, the band's members have turned Restorations a new kind of priority. Before getting signed by SideOneDummy, Loudon and Klyman considered music a passion pursued only on the side. "Somehow, we went from being project band to something more serious," Loudon explains. "I never thought we'd be in a place where we'd be saying we're going on tour or putting out another full-length so quickly."

"For all of us, it sort of changed our interests and where we thought our personal trajectories were going," says Klyman, who paused his plan to re-enroll in school following the success of the band's 2010 Self-Titled record. "We were all looking at different things. But now, it's how do we fit our lives around the band to a certain degree—not totally, but we actually have to make plans far enough in advance so that we can pull of everything we want to do."

In many ways, LP2 attempts to reconcile this discrepancy between the band members' lives as musicians and their otherwise "real" lives. Loudon explains that many of his lyrics wrestle with sticking to commitments and taking responsibility for one's trajectory—a theme exhibited on "D", whose guitars trill, anxious and siren-like. During a fiery ending, amid throbbing drums and ringing guitars, Loudon pushes his husky voice into a snarl and spits, "Wild eyes to the stars at night / Hoping for some chance to arrive / To find out its been there the whole time."

Other tracks deal with the dull monotony of daily life, especially in the city, both lyrically and melodically. "Let's Blow Up the Sun" sways with enormous weight, heavy with grumbling guitars, Ben Pierce's hoarse organ, and Dan Zimmerman's deep, buzzing bass. "That song's about catching yourself realizing that it's months later than you thought it was," Loudon says, "and I think that also reflects in the music; we're really beating that one note to death. A lot of our songs have that city, urban feel to them, that burdensome weight on-top of everything." Indeed, "Let's Blow Up the Sun" seems to be LP2's most oppressive, most powerful song. 

Though it requires Restorations to reconsider their priorities, the band appreciates their broadening attention and the anticipation surrounding LP2; the feeling is as unfamiliar as it is motivating.  "Unlike a lot of our past projects, a lot of things have been trending up as opposed to plateauing or trending really far down," Klyman explained as Loudon released a knowing laugh in the background. "So when something just keeps going up and up—whether recklessly, stupidly, or smartly—you follow that trend."

And this is why Loudon's surprise seems satisfied. "We just feel really lucky," Loudon concluded. "We've seen so many bands kind of rise and fall that we understand how fragile this all is. Understanding the extremely low odds that we get to do something at the level that we're at now, I think we really are just hell-bent on enjoying it because this isn't going be a permanent thing."

It's for this reason that Restorations has enjoyed such a successful year, and what makes their music so impressive and powerful. As long as the band keeps enjoying wherever their trajectory takes them, they are bound to experience a few more surprises.

Loudon, Klyman, and Pierce recorded these tracks on a spring afternoon from the offices of Hashtag Multimedia outside of Philadelphia, PA. Loudon and Klyman played acoustic guitars and Pierce played a Silvertone electric reed organ with a flannel coat over it to muffle the sound. Pierce, whose hand was struck by a car while riding his bike to the session, performed with what may have been a broken hand.

"New Old" and "Civil Inattention" appear on Restorations' 2013 record titled LP2.

This is the second session that Loudon, Klyman, and Pierce recorded for the Switchboard Sessions. Read and listen to the first session here.

Visit the band's Bandcamp page for more music.

To download these tracks, click on the song titles and download them from the player at

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