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The Constantines
The Constantines (re-issue)
SubPop Records

Having never been a huge proponent of continuity, I peed my pants upon witnessing The Constantines incontinence. People who get what Gomez is doing are going to be into this. Elements from soul, blues, indie jazz and brit-pop are smashed together in a sandwich you'd never concoct yourself, but if they're offering... The denim-clad vocals aren't exactly a perfect fit at first, there seems to be some conflict with the crisp jazz guitar tones and the drone. You see, they're likely to grab hold of a diminished chord and harangue the hell out of it like some Wedding Present meets Joe Cocker deal. This doesn't leave much room for melody, and the singer ends up with a three-note crawlspace where he finds Ian Curtis. But after a few washes, it's all perfectly comfortable. Artsy lyrics like, "Collect the body of Isadora Duncan/forget your rock culture stuck in tow/let my limbs hang crucified from Naja Schonbeg bow," give a continental air. Yes, there's a Mellencamp/Springsteen connection, they go as far as to inject a line from Rod The Fraud Stewart's "Young Hearts" into their own device. But just as quickly, they attack a high-ended wall of sound that brings Unrest to mind. Then they'll suddenly break off a brief soul bridge like The Temps "Papa Was A Rolling Stone." And speaking of Rolling Stones, check the blues of "Some Party" and "Justice," replete with soulful backup ladies. They'll even throw in some Replacements alterna-punk for good measure. These boys is going to do whatever they'se going to, damn convention.

-Ewan Wadharmi

Track List:
1. Arizona
2. Long Distance Four
3. Some Party
4. Young Offenders
5. Justice
6. Seven a.m.
7. No Ecstasy
8. Hyacinth Blues
9. St. You
10. The Mcknight Life
11. Steal This Sound
12. To The Lullabies
13. Little Instrument

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