Having already gained a raft of laudatory reviews, Canada's Constantines seem set to become the latest darlings of the underground with their full length debut Shine a Light
. For a start, there's the sound. Sometimes an impassioned, discordant and jittery update of Fugazi's rigorous noise ("Insectivora"), it also features a storming keyboard that recalls the brutal but heavily melodic work of fellow SubPoppers the Murder City Devils ("Nighttime", "Tank Commander"). Add to this the Clash-style guitar stabs of the title track, the twisted brass of the funereal "Goodbye Baby" and "Amen" and the big rock crescendo of "On to You", and you have a challenging but hugely satisfying platter, where melodies can be buried but never for long.
Beyond this, there's that attitude, the Constantines concerning themselves almost wholly with the young and disenfranchised. Yet this is no breezy Huntington Beach keg party, rather a trip into the urban darkness, where overlooked kids seek a life and a living on the grimy, unforgiving and often violent streets. In this the band have been compared to early Springsteen--quite rightly so, as they share the Boss's tough but vulnerable stance and his inventive way with words. This is an indie hit, for sure. --Dominic Wills
ANOTHER FINE ALBUM FROM SUB POP The second album from Canadian outfit Constantines, and their first for the mighty Sub Pop label, with a style dubbed as "art punk" by the critics