Boston-based shoe-gazing space-rockers Constants return with their second full-length and follow-up to 2006s 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 albums title. The meaning behind the title and this distribution of tracks isnt given, and without a lyric sheet for the album, its difficult to explain exactly why this is done. Im sure there is a deep-rooted meaning, but without an inkling to go on, Ill 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 Benoits skills. Whether he is provided fuzzed-out riffs or delicate and playful melodies to sing with, hes at the top of the game. His vocals mind me of the harmonies of Jesus Justin Broadrick mixed with Failures Ken Andrews.
The second set of songs is dubbed The Machine. The differences between these songs and the others arent 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 bands 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 cant 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 theyre ready to be a mega force, but theyve got the tools to get there.
7.5 / 10
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