To be frank, the majority of the releases on Tiny Engines don’t make much of an impression on me. They’re pleasant enough bits of post rock indie / emo, with all of the bands strongly influenced by latter-day Dischord acts and the loud-quiet-loud aesthetic of the many Deep Elm acts who preceded them.
Specifically, I’ve never quite understood the acclaim many fans give to Restorations. They’re nice enough, but the songs they make tend to bore after a bit. An entire LP of their material might’ve been the biggest struggle I’ve ever had listening to an album for review.
Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of Restorations‘ debut EP for Paper + Plastick, referring to it as plodding and “dull.” Their self-titled full-length – thankfully – is an improvement. It’s still a strange amalgam of post-punk and Americana, but Restorations have managed to pull the similar elements from both genres together more tightly together. The rambling rhythmic structure of Americana’s country roots meld perfectly with the high arpeggios of post-punk, which have a high, lonesome sound all their own. And, of course, those vocals, gruff and raspy, could easily fit into either genre.
(Paper + Plastick)
At first, I thought the fact that I’d just had a bad day influenced my listen of Restorartions‘ EP, Strange Behavior. It’s only four songs, but it seemed to go on forever, and just meandered at a snail’s pace. The whole experience was chalked up to a lousy day at work, and I waited a couple days to come back to it with fresh ears.
It wasn’t the bad day. It’s the fact that Strange Behavior is just … dull. The RIYL in the press kit namechecks Lucero and Fugazi, and those elements are indeed there. It’s simply the fact that Restorations plod. This is a plodding, thudding EP that manages to do what I consider to be the cardinal sin of music: it’s boring. Seriously. There’s so little exciting or interesting about this EP that simply saying this much was a stretch. I could find nothing about Strange Behavior or Restorations interesting enough to comment on, aside from their complete and utter lack of anything interesting.