Reviews Constants The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension

Constants

The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension

Boston-based shoe-gazing space-rockers Constants return with their second full-length and follow-up to 2006’s The Murder of Tom Fitzgerril EP. With The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension Constants continues to make waves in the rock world as they showcase their talent towards writing intricate, dynamic, and ominous rock music.

The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension is ultimately broken up into three segments, each of which corresponds to a portion of the album’s title. The meaning behind the title and this distribution of tracks isn’t given, and without a lyric sheet for the album, it’s difficult to explain exactly why this is done. I’m sure there is a deep-rooted meaning, but without an inkling to go on, I’ll just leave it as a mystery.

The first group, The Foundation, begins with “Genetics Like Chess Pieces.” The listener is entertained with a well-balanced combination of spacey indie rock, mid-tempo post-rock, and straightforward alternative rock. The sound falls someplace between Oceansize, and Cave In. Notably, the drum work of Rob Motes is quite fantastic toward the latter part of the song. The two-song venture “Those Who Came Before Pt. 1” and “Those Who Came Before Pt. 2” showcases guitarist/vocalist Will Benoit’s skills. Whether he is provided fuzzed-out riffs or delicate and playful melodies to sing with, he’s at the top of the game. His vocals mind me of the harmonies of Jesu’s Justin Broadrick mixed with Failure’s Ken Andrews.

The second set of songs is dubbed The Machine. The differences between these songs and the others aren’t that significant, but there is definitely a slight variation in style, tempo, and the overall mood set forth in the three groupings. Constants take a more subdued approach to these songs, scaling back the distortion to the guitars and toning down the pace of the rhythm section. The result is a slightly darker and foreboding mood.

The final set of songs is given the name The Ascension. On these four tracks Constants becomes a more upbeat and dynamic band once again. These songs highlight the band’s post-rock influences with their incorporation of numerous rising and falling sequences and crescendo moments.

The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension is a well-rounded release from start to finish. There were more than a few moments on the album that I absolutely loved; and while I can’t say there are any aspects of the album that I hated there were a few so-so moments. I think my biggest qualm with Constants is that I quite often caught myself referencing other bands work throughout – Oceansize, Junius, and Failure to name a few. That's not a knock - all three of those bands are excellent. Constants still has some fine tuning to do before they’re ready to be a mega force, but they’ve got the tools to get there.

7.5 / 10Michael
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7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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I'm a sucker for sprawling, epic rock music. Mogwai, Isis, M83, etc... You name it, I'm in. There's just something about music that slowly draws you in and hypnotizes you ...

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