Tough-guy hardcore from Guelph, Ontario
It’s curious that while emo bands initially sought to subvert hardcore, their extreme vulnerability is now the norm in US underground punk. In that context, The Constantines are a relief. Sure, they’re earnest and infatuated by Fugazi (as the stop-start single, “Nighttime/Anytime (It’s Alright)”, proves). But, happily, they’ve heard Mission Of Burma, too, and are defined more by endurance than self-pity: “I’m learning to survive on earthworms and houseflies,” growls Bryan Webb, a frontiersman among sociopaths, on “Insectivora”. The rest is a sinewy mix of punk, dub, soul, good tunes and classic guy-rock, with “On To You” and “Sub-Domestic” justifying Springsteen comparisons. An album that wears its sweat with pride.