Constants

The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension

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    7
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This Boston-based trio has split their third album into three roughly 20-minute suites, which come on a single CD or three slabs of vinyl, if you're into lavish indulgence. Musically, it's heavy post-rock, with throbbing basslines that owe a little bit to Neurosis, a little bit to Jane's Addiction, and something to Isis and maybe even Tool. There are also dashes of Porcupine Tree in their psychedelic, phased-to-hell-and-gone washes of vocals and guitar. It's a somewhat atmospheric record in that the hoarse alt rock vocals don't really need to be decipherable; they fit seamlessly into the songs' looping structure as just one more sonic element. The first suite, "The Foundation," rolls in like the tide, drifting in post-punky waves of heavily effected guitar. The album's second movement, "The Machine," is slightly more assertive to start, but quickly becomes an almost My Bloody Valentine-esque wash of sound that during its second song, "The Timeless," downshifts to a rhythmic interlude that's somewhere between mid-'70s Pink Floyd and Minsk. The third and final segment, "The Ascension," continues this pattern, peaking on the song "The Ascension," a two-minute interlude that repeats one guitar riff over and over until it's swallowed by a wave of staticky noise. Basically, if you like the throbbing, oceanic, post-rock (whether instrumental or otherwise) that's been sweeping the nation in recent years, Constants will make you happy.

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