The Constantines – Shine A Light

Tough-guy hardcore from Guelph, Ontario

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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.

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