» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Shine a Light
Sub Pop Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Constantines' Shine a Light, simply put, is one of the best rock releases that have graced our collective stereo in a long time, and definitely one of the best of 2003. This Canadian band uses guitars, bass, drums, and occasional horns and organ, under slurred and gruff vocal melodies, to create excellent rock that is based in elements of punk and traditional, updated with a wry indie sensibility that harkens back to the early '90s. Bryan Webb's vocals alternately recall Crooked Fingers/Archers of Loaf's Eric Bachmann and Califone's Tim Rutili, as he infuses his drunken enunciation with fiercely melodic tunes. Shine a Light is their first release on Sub Pop, but the band continues to release their records in Canada on the label that put out their first self-titled album, Three Gut.

The record's title track infuses all their best elements into a hodgepodge of mellow, slow burning rock and punk riffage. "Nighttime/Anytime (It's Alright)," the lead single off the album, is pure sing-a-long stop and start rock 'n' roll that builds in waves of distortion and intensity, Webb mournfully crooning the song's title in a heart wrenching maneuver. "Young Lions" pounds out over a one-note bassline and toms hit hard, a sort of updated take on the Archers' "Vocal Shrapnel." Steve Lambke takes over lead vocal duties on the excellent "Scoundrel Babes," playing Mick Jones to Webb's Joe Strummer. His nasally barked vocals do wonders for this tightly knit and concise rocker.

The Constantines are vibrant and catchy, but the music that they make isn't necessarily innovative or groundbreaking in its style or creativity. But that is one of the things that make them so good: they play fairly straight up rock that surpasses so much of the flavor of the month electro-this and garage-that. It's so refreshing to hear a guitar band that is able to make good music and textured songs that rely mostly on boozy melodies and dual guitars - the heart of rock and roll. The Constantines' beat is strong and steady.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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