Review: single-paragraph appraisals

Because sometimes it is nice to review things. Should anyone care for this opinion.

Constantines, Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts, 22/09/08)
Canada’s Constantines’ fourth LP follows precedents set by their previous form – namely this is tears- and beers-stained rock and roll in a vaguely similar vein to The Hold Steady, but while Craig Finn and his cohorts play the blue-collar chords, here songs are streamlined for a more discerning listener. ‘Million Star Hotel’ cranks up the tension, Bryan Webb’s Springsteen-recalling vocals impassioned and pure of soul; ‘I Will Not Sing A Hateful Song’ is the eventual release, a kind of tenderness replacing the quintet’s twitchy rhythms as calmness cools their punk-infused cacophony. The band’s arrival on Arts & Crafts feels like something of a homecoming following a period on Sub Pop’s books, and the album title echoes this – Kensington Heights is the Toronto street on which you’ll find their rehearsal space.

Adventure, Adventure (Carpark, 15/09/08)
8-bit party glitch from North Carolina-raised Benny Boeldt, presently residing in Baltimore as he looks to make a name for himself this side of the Atlantic as Adventure. This self-titled album presses many of the same buttons as fellow townsman (and Wham City cohort) Dan Deacon’s Spiderman Of The Rings, but ultimately doesn’t possess the furiously powerful NRG of said potential peer. Occasional vocal samples are latched to Sonic-style beats and, while hardly original, the overall product’s a pleasantly distracting muddle of refined synths and coin-op arcade game FX. If your idea of tomorrow’s music today is Crystal Castles or, perhaps more preferably, Daedelus’ rave-chic retrogressions, this’ll fit into your collection sweetly enough. If the sight of neon clothing makes you barf, best steer your attentions well clear of this candy-coloured patchwork of ringtone-level hedonism.

Also on the stereo: Hey Colossus’ Happy Birthday. Sounds like a choir of feedback harpies being stepped on by fire-breathing dinosaurs with blame-the-Melvins tinnitus ringing in their why are you not extinct earholes. Brutes.

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