Constantines – Constantines
Three Gut/Sub Pop, 2001
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
While not as inventive as their much praised sophomore LP Shine a Light and not as inviting as Tournament of Hearts (my favorite record of theirs, which for some reason I do not own), the self-titled debut from Constantines is a collection of jams made by dudes who are clearly very very obsessed with Fugazi (with a little Replacements jones thrown in for good measure). I got into them via their touring with the Weakerthans in 2004 (who were and are one of my favorite bands of all time) and though the closest the tour was coming was Columbia, MO, I still checked out some of their stuff just incase I wanted to make the trek. “St. You” was the first song I heard, and it’s probably the reason I bought this record when I saw it. Though it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, it’s still one of my favorite “I’m having a sad fucking day” ballads. Though singer Bryan Webb always sounds like someone else (sometimes Springsteen, sometimes Ben Nichols from Lucero), he’s a good enough writer for me to not give a shit. It’s almost becoming a Canadian thing, good songwriting that is. John K Samson, Spencer Krug, Jim Guthrie, you know, now that I think about it maybe they’re trying to corner the market. Which is fine by me, because I’m known to trash a decently produced and poppy record if the lyrics are boring as shit. Fortunately, this is a pretty goddamned unique record for 2001.