The Constantines: Kensington Heights (a review)

kensington heightsI look for the pattern. Try and find it in the music, analyzing every note and attempting to rationalize why I find Kensington Heights so brilliant. That’s what a music critic does right? Draw some comparisons, make some vague music-dork analogies that may or may not aid the band in world domination. For the sake of our classical music review readers here is an honest example; vocalist Steve LambkeBryan Webb* has the lyrical dexterity of Fugazi’s Guy Piccioto crossed with the sentimentality of Neil Young and the passion of Drive By Truckers Patterson Hood.

There you have it. How lazy and poignant. Music writer pats himself on back. You can’t convince someone that the reasons you like a record would be the same reasons they’d [the music buying/stealing public] like a record. However, as a music lover I want to share my joy with everyone I know.

As a music lover I want my friends and family to derive the same level of pleasure I get from listening. As a writer I want my readers to get excited about music. About ROCK music. There are no standout tracks on Kensington Heights because all of them standout. From the driving rhythm of “Trans Canada” to the pensive acoustics of “New King,” Kensington Heights is an incredibly consistent and focused documentation of rock music.

Thinking ahead, I’ll say that in 20 years I’ll be listening to Kensington Heights and I’ll find new ideas and sounds in the music to be inspired by—sound consumed in roughly 50 minutes that hold the promise of future discoveries. Isn’t that what makes a good record? Isn’t that what makes good art or why art is good?

Kensington Heights was released in Canada on April 15, 2008 and will be released in the US on April 29th, 2008.

You can listen to Kensington Heights at

2 thoughts on “The Constantines: Kensington Heights (a review)

  1. Point of clarification: The lead vocalist of the Constantines is Bryan Webb. Steve Lambke sings lead on one song: “Shower of Stones.”

  2. Holy crap. I was listening to CBC Radio2 with Tom Allen yesterday and he played “New King.” I had to pull over to the side of the road to listen. That song brings chills and tears. Some of the most outstanding lyrics nested in rock rhythms and sounds that I have heard in YEARS.

    What a great find, and I’m ashamed to say this is the first I’ve heard of this band (being a little beyond the college/club scene).

    Also, I grew up in a little town outside of Guelph, allowing me to appreciate the irony of going bankrupt on the Credit River. hehehe

    I love these guys, and thanks so much for writing about them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s