Philadelphia fivesome Restorations find better living through emo on LP5000 | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Philadelphia fivesome Restorations find better living through emo on LP5000 

click to enlarge Restorations


Emily Dubin

The best emo bands are the ones led by artists who follow the genre tradition of using music as a tool for self-examination in a lifelong quest toward maturity and growth, and capturing specific moments of personal evolution each time time their band cuts an album. On September’s LP5000 (Tiny Engines), Philadelphia fivesome Restorations sound like the same great band that for a decade has been translating blue-collar Springsteenisms into bursts of well-fed emo catharsis. The difference between their albums is in the small details, and with the recent LP5000, it’s in their lyrical exploration of that revelatory moment in your mid-30s where you stop focusing on just yourself and start establishing a new life with a family (and all the minutiae that come with that). On two of the best tracks on the record, “Remains” and “The Red Door,” Restorations wrestle with gentrification, and they do so on a molecular, everyday level, capturing what it is to feel powerless against the forces that erase communities of color and build spotless spaces for the wealthy. Restorations put forth no solutions, but their clear-eyed, forceful songs offer fuel for those fighting seemingly hopeless struggles, and suggest that some resolution is possible through a lifetime dedicated to improving the world around you.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Popular Stories