Favorite

The Constantines 

With Don Caballero and Quasi. Sunday, November 2, at the Grog Shop.

Try to hear this unlikely musical encounter in your head: Shane MacGowan, possessed by the ghost of Joe Strummer and 20 pints of Guinness, staggers into his rehearsal space, only it's not the Pogues staring at his disheveled ass -- it's Ian MacKaye and the rest of Fugazi. Instead of stumbling out to find the right room, MacGowan grabs the mic and lets fly his fervid, raspy slur, while the cerebral punk band launches into its trademark angularity and dynamic exactitude.

That, in a nutshell, is the strange and piquant vibe of Shine a Light, the second full-length album from Canada's Constantines. Singer-guitarist Bry Webb plays the role of MacGowan/Strummer, and he can manipulate his croak into either an urgent near-howl or a gruff yet soulful grunt. Meanwhile, bassist Dallas Wehrle, much like Fugazi's Joe Lally or the Jesus Lizard's David Wm. Sims, is the band's most potent weapon, pushing the intensity with an insistent melodic throb on the more inflamed tracks.

This taut, unorthodox approach works best for the Constantines. The quasi-pub-rock of "On to You" and the stomping, rootsy "Sub-Domestic" do not; those tracks bend and scuff the edges of what would otherwise be a mint offering. Stick to the road less traveled, fellas -- it makes all the difference.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Michael Alan Goldberg

  |  

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • Sun., Dec. 4
  • CIM/CWRU Joint Music Program @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • First Wednesday of every month. Continues through May 3
  • DeRay Davis @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Dec. 8

© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation