West Springfield hardcore outfit Restraining Order are back with the release of their newest record Locked in Time. This release marks their first full-length album since their debut The World is Too Much in 2019, two years after the band’s inception. That being said, the band released an EP titled Split back in 2021, giving fans just a small taste of what was to come with Locked in Time.
Interestingly enough, the record begins with a callback to their debut. Opening with “Addicted Reprise,” the song both makes reference and sounds similar to “Addicted to This Life,” the final track of The World is Too Much. The record never wastes a single second of its brief, 21-minute run-time. From “Left Unsaid” to “Inmates,” the brisk pacing takes no prisoners. The latter captures the energy of teen angst as Pat Cozens yells for an unknown recipient of his verbal lashing to “Get up, get out!” And “Leave my room.”
“Should’ve Known” might just be one of the highlights of the entire record. More punk than hardcore, the song packs a solid punch right to the gut as bassist Keith Freeman delivers a killer bass-line that’s reminiscent of Tony Lombardo’s signature style.
With “Misled,” fans are treated to a music video that features a recorded performance of the song. In the background—and sometimes the foreground—a man haphazardly tries to mop the ground under which the band plays.
“Fight Back” features a venomous vocal attack as Cozens spats out, “Gotta fight back,” over and over again. “Another Better Day” fits the more conventional structure of a song. The music video takes a cue from the music itself, going for more of an old-school look. The video sees the members walking in slow motion before eventually hugging and jumping up and down in celebration.
The title fits the song with “On the Run” as the song races along. Short and sweet, “On the Run” leaves listeners wanting more. Title track, “Locked in Time,” is the standout of the entire record. Differing musically, the acoustic introduction is strangely reminiscent of the Gin Blossoms. “Locked in Time” serves as a departure from anything Restraining Order had released before. Perhaps it’s indicative of what’s to come from this ever-evolving band.
The record comes to a close with “Painted World.” Deceivingly, the song seems like it’s coming to an end before faking out into a bridge that features a stunning pick scrape that sounds as if it were the whistle of a falling bomb.
Locked in Time, though at times slightly repetitive, depicts a matured Restraining Order, while still paying homage to their beginnings.
You can order the album from Triple B Records.
Keep up with the band on Instagram.