What keeps many listeners from enjoying instrumental rock music is obvious: There are no vocals. It's not often that a rock record is hindered by including vocals. But that's the case with The Foundation, the Machine, the Ascension. From the sci-fi epic opening of "Genetics Like Chess Pieces" to the Muse-inspired interlude of "Those Who Came Before Pt. 1" and the massively thick pummeling of "Abraxas Pt. 1," it's clear Constants can produce stadium-sized eruptions with riffs that will make guitar-heads drool. The problem? Singer-guitarist Will Benoit's voice is distracting. Doused in echo and buffed to a synthetic studio shine, Benoit belts out his words in a weak attempt to sound prodigious. But he just sounds like an undeveloped version of Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Enigk. You're better off waiting for the vocals-free mix. — Matt Whelihan
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.