On their new album, Locked In Time, Restraining Order is gazing towards the future. Originally formed in January 2017 after the band members made it their New Year's resolution to start a hardcore-punk band, things have been looking ahead for the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts six-piece ever since. After breaking out with a demo that same year, followed by a self-titled EP in 2018, Restraining Order hit their stride with 2019’s This World Is Too Much. Four years later, the band are taking the energy and style that made that debut album an instant classic and bringing in a present-day approach with Locked In Time.
From the opening notes of the record a familiar sound appears as This World Is Too Much album closer “Addicted” plays in reverse in the aptly titled “Addicted (Reprise)”, connecting the cinematic universe Restraining Order has built across both records. As Patrick Cozens shouts “They don’t know what this means, this life it chose me,” it sets the tone that this music isn’t a fad, these lyrics aren’t made up stories, these twelve songs are a documentation of the band members' daily lives.
Expanding on the albums lyrical themes, Cozens’ states:
“Going into this record I decided to take a more present-day approach. It felt like the last record let me get a lot of things off my mind. I feel the band itself has helped me move forward in life and gain confidence in who I am. A lot of the lyrics on this record revolve around what I’ve been thinking about currently in life. The feeling of moving on from the past and looking towards the future. The anxieties of day-to-day life. Realizing what I must do to make myself happy. I wanted to take on the hardships of present-day life but also celebrate it. A lot of things will bring you down in this world, but you can always create your own world and see things the way you want to see them.”
The writing and recording process for Locked In Time was expansive, beginning in fall 2019 and completed in late 2022. With drummer Will Hirst at the helm of recording and production, it allowed the band to focus on the nuances and build upon a diverse sonic palette. At the surface, Locked in Time is very much a hardcore record, but it also dabbles with garage, psychedelia and other classic rock influences.
Melody and hooks lay alongside the speed and chaos. Ambitious song structures are highlighted by seamless transitions. It’s a record meant just as much to connect with as it is for dancing in the pit, which makes sense for a band on tour nearly nonstop. The songs sway between moments of self awareness like on single “Misled” and just having a good time, as with the punchy “On The Run.” “Painted World” ends the record with the band’s longest track yet, harkening in on those more off the cusp influences and putting forth Restraining Order’s full vision.
And in reflection of those final notes, Cozens’ emphasizes:
“I know that I can see the world the way I want to see it. I can make it mine. I can control my life and where I want to be. At first this world was too much but now I’ve learned to create my own.”
There is no event exist.