Posted by: Ryan Allen on April 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Constantines, Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts, 2008)

Listen: “Brother Run Them Down”

With raw power and emotion dangling from their flanneled sleeves, Constantines write songs for the workingman; tunes that would sound just as great blasting from tractor trailers as they would a Toyota Prius. Where there’s spilled blood and sweat, the Cons are gonna be there, playing hard and singing loud, howling at the moon. So not surprisingly, on Kensington Heights, they blast out of the gates with “Hard Feelings,” borrowing guitar licks from Crazy Horse, maneuvering a pulsing rhythm that sounds like the heartbeat of a thousand hungry souls. Their dynamic control glows on “Trans Canada,” which manages a guttural, metallic riff beneath smooth nuances that bring to mind 90s-era Springsteen albums like Human Touch and Lucky Town. Elsewhere, they explode with “Brother Run Them Down” — possibly their poppiest moment since Shine a Light’s “Young Lions” — and the angry, growling “Credit River.” It’s not all war and rage, though, as songs like “New King” and “Life and Death” show that even the most calloused rockers have a soft side. So pass the moisturizer, and let it ride. — Ryan Allen

[tags]Constantines, Toyota Prius, Crazy Horse, Bruce Springsteen[/tags]


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