Tough-sounding riffs driven by a singer with a snotty vocal delivery and hook-filled songwriting s what Restraining Order is about. Everything I've heard from the West Springfield, MA-based quintet. "We started January 2017, and it was basically a New Year's resolution to do this band," says Restraining Order bassist Keith Freeman when I ask him about the group's origins. "Me and Will (the drummer) are also in Maniac. Will and Brandon are in a newer band here called Negative Outlook, and I’m in another band called AmmuNation."
But back to Restraining Order's sound. Keith reveals some of their musical heroes. "Oh man, we’re all over with influences. We got the early '80s stuff Minor Threat, Jerry’s Kids, The Fix, stuff like that. When I got into hardcore, I got really into No Way Records bands like Government Warning, Warkrime, and Direct Control. Even bands still playing out now like Fucked Up, Career Suicide, Night Birds. We’ve wanted to do a band like this for years, but we were busy doing other bands that were easier to get off the ground. We finally brought the hammer down and went through with it. Pat, our singer, was a very important part. His old band, Contempt (CT), was fast and energetic, so we knew we wanted him as a frontman. He’s nuts live."
If you're already familiar with Restraining Order and their previously released material on their Bandcamp page, you won't be surprised that New Age Records approached them to work together. The Orange County, CA label is a staple in the history of hardcore, and Restraining Order is perfectly suited to become part of New Age's hallowed legacy. Later this summer, the label will be releasing the band's eponymous debut EP, and No Echo was set up with a stream of "Better Luck Next Time," a track from the forthcoming 7".
"We recorded with our drummer, Will, at Gate 4 Studios. It was easy, especially since Will is in the band and knows what we’re going for. He can do his thing. It was mastered with Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East Mastering."
In addition to the EP release, Restraining Order also have another New Age-related milestone to celebrate this summer. On Aug. 25, the group will join such bands as Trial, Strife, Mouthpiece, and A Chorus of Disapproval at the New Age 30 anniversary festival in Garden Grove, CA. The event will bring together the label's current roster and some of its most popular acts from the late '80s and '90s. I wrote a preview piece about the festival which you can read here.
New Age Records will be dropping the Restraining Order 7" this August. If you're in the Philly area tomorrow (June 23), the band will be part of a live bill with Result of Choice, The New Harmony, and The Fight at The Fire. Restraining Order will also be part of the New Age Records 30th Anniversary Show on Aug. 25 in Orange County, CA.
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