Music Reviews
Shine A Light

Constantines Shine A Light

(Sub Pop / Three Gut) Buy it from Insound Rating - 10/10

As a proud Canadian, I can honestly say, it's about time our country has been recognized for all of the excellent music we're responsible for. Yes, we are guilty of polluting the airwaves with filth like Celine Dion and Nickelback, but those "artists" are thankfully losing their Canadian identities because of such overwhelming worldwide popularity. Frankly, we just don't care about them.

We're too busy setting our sights on better things. A lot of focus in underground and yes, even mainstream press, has been placed on Canucks like Hot Hot Heat, Broken Social Scene and The Stills. However, if you ask any indie rock fan in Canada which band they're most proud of, it's the Guelph foursome, the Constantines. Surfacing in 2001 with a debut that was raw, punchy and fearless, the Cons quickly became the toast of the town (that's Toronto, which adopted them as soon as the band could say, "Sure") and everywhere else they inhabited.

Y'see, when a Constantines song is playing, the sudden urge to fist-pump takes over. When Bry Webb sings "Baby's got the fever" on Shine A Light, you're going to check your forehead just to make sure he isn't talking about you, because what he says is that real. There is a monumental feeling of strength and courage in their music that is impossible to deny. And if you think I'm bullshitting you and just trying to stir up some hype over a little band I've come to love that everyone should know about, read what everyone else has to say about them because the same message is being spread by all. Or even better, buy Shine A Light and see for yourself just for the sake of trying to prove me wrong.

I could continue writing this review saying things like "Young Lions is one of the most uplifting, motivational songs I've ever heard"; "Steve Lambke's vocals on National Hum are so growlingly vicious that they make me feel a little less masculine"; or "On To You is the best surprise pop song you'll ever hear from a band you never expected to but always wanted to hear explore their melodic side". But I need to just get to the point that this is an album that deserves to be lodged in your stereo, never to see it's case ever again.

This review has taken me over a month to write. Normally, all I need is two or three listens and the length of a sitcom and I'll have a typical 400-word critique typed and checked for spelling. So far, I've scrapped five versions of this review because I never seem to get it right. Maybe this isn't the best I could come up with, but what I hope is that it will get the point across that the Constantines are not a hotly-tipped garage band or some new it-band us wacky Canadians think the world might like for one album. They're a real rock band that has a gospel you need to hear.