The New Constitution

On 4

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The New Constitution's debut record, On 4, is jammed full of power, pop, and fun. The band features Mike Downey of indie pop band Wolfie, and like that band, the New Constitution has a light and breezy touch. They fill their power pop-inspired songs with big choruses, bouncy rhythms, and quirky but heartfelt lyrics. Tunes like "Country Life," "Don'tcha Take It So Hard," and "Shook Last Night" are good enough to be considered next to the best of hotshots like Brendan Benson, Jason Falkner, or Sloan. In fact if you need easy classification, consider the New Constitution the American Sloan. Unlike Sloan, however, the band drops in a slight touch of country-rock (on the Eagles-quoting "This Old Curse"), a little boogie rock ("Constitution"), and a smidgen of Thin Lizzy-style hard rock ("Hot Flashes") to keep things interesting. They also don't rely as much on vocal harmonies as most of the bands plying a similar trade, but it is no big deal because the lead vocals (by Downey and fellow guitarist/songwriter Dan Brown) are so wonderfully teenage and perfectly rock & roll. This is a strong, almost stunning debut by a pop band that fans of modern power pop should be hip to.

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