Constants
The Murder of Tom Fitzgerril EP

Boston-based Constants turn in another chapter of spacey post-rock with The Murder of Tom Fitzgerril, the follow-up to their excellent 2004 debut, Nostalgia for the Future. Fans of the ambient, more mesmerizing side of Isis or even Tool will dig the band’s approach to songcrafting: cyclical, engaging chordal progressions coupled with vocal lines that complement but never overpower the ebb and flow.

This four-song EP—a lengthy one at 37 minutes—sees the band realizing their potential as introspective musicians. “Walking Dead in East Texas” sounds a bit like False Cathedrals-era Elliott mixed with the grit of Time in Malta, while “Robotica and Lobotomy” recall the AOR-cum-New Wave guitar wizardry that propelled Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe” to the top of the charts in the early ’80s. The thirteen-minute title track combines said elements alongside brooding pedal effects that build up to crescendos several times during the long ride, and guitarist Will Benoit (co-founder of Radar Recordings, along with guitarist Mike Repasch-Nieves of labelmates Junius) belts out his gutsiest vocals on record.

The vocals, however, take a backseat to the squealing, Cave In-like effects of “When Stars Dilate,” as producer Daryl Rabidoux (also guitarist for the Cancer Conspiracy) apparently understated them on purpose in order to allow the music to do the talking—which it does quite aptly. Benoit’s vox parallels the same from Sting, circa Regatta de Blanc, and the effervescent guitars bubble up like the fretboard gymnastics of Eddie Van Halen’s “Cathedral.” Wedged between King Crimson and Callisto, Constants dare to be different as neo-Pink Floyd enthusiasts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
February 22nd, 2008

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