Constantines, Obits, Light Pollution | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Constantines, Obits, Light Pollution Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Dec. 13, 10 p.m. 2008

On their fourth full-length, this spring’s Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts), Toronto’s Constantines continue to play earnest, straightforward rock ’n’ roll—even the relative restraint of the new album seems like a ploy to better expose the hearts on these guys’ sleeves. They do it so well that you don’t feel like too much of a dork when you catch yourself with your fist in the air at one of their shows—here’s hoping the Obama presidency makes their optimism resonant instead of redundant, and that the loss of a backdrop of cynical despair to kick against doesn’t drain their music of its urgency. The band’s chiming hooks and populist lyrics put me in mind of the Clash: one title declares “I Will Not Sing a Hateful Song,” and true to the idealism encoded in the DNA of protest rock, they don’t. Still, there’s a boots-planted punk stubbornness about them that suggests that whatever their ultimate destination may be—I see them as slow-and-steady growers, like the E Street Band—they will not be diverted from it. Rick Froberg’s post-Hot Snakes band Obits and Light Pollution open. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $12

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