Combining the best elements of almost everything, and doing it better than well, the buzz created by Constantines is reaching a decibel level that’s impossible to ignore. But with its latest release, Shine a Light, the Ontario four-piece has managed to harness the commotion of hype and wield it like a pirates rape and pillage.
Constantines infuses soulful rock with that sense of urgency that embodies what punk rock is all about. Definite denizens of the genre, the band blends punk with a classic rock mentality effortlessly and ends up with a sound reminiscent of Springsteen. Well, if Springsteen wrote post-punk anthems.
“National Hum,” the first song on Shine A Light, is the album’s most traditionally punk song. With a ferocious drum intro and a filthy guitar laid on top, the song is hints at Fugazi. It’s a bummer that it’s the only of its type on the album. But the title track, with its introduction to the heartfelt vocals of Bry Webb, and “Young Lions,” with its truly classic guitar hook and inspirational chorus, quickly make up for it, leaving you amazed at the band’s versatility. Others, including “Goodbye Baby and Amen” and “Onto You,” can change your entire mood from the first few notes.
It’s rare that a band is able to maintain such a sense of urgency while still putting enough thought into producing amazing new music. Constantines fully deserve the hype; hopefully, they are paving the way toward an ensuing commotion.