God, talk about being cursed… The Constantines’ first album came out four weeks after 9/11. For proof of the cursed aspect of this happenstance you need only look to the fact that Michael Jackson’s Invincible likewise dropped right around then.
Of course, record sales and image are hugely contingent on promotion, and while it’s obviously not hard to tout a hunky bunch of New Yorkers who channel The Velvet Underground, the call of The Constantines’ Bryan Webb is, “I’m learning to survive.. You shine a light on me.”
I’m actually finally past the phase where I like horrible bratty teenage punk, but those bands still had great album titles, like Chixdiggit’s Nothing Beats a Royal Flush, and with this comes a certain spirit. So I put in this Constantines CD today, Shine a Light, which I’d found used at the bottom of some bin for some nominal amount recently, and I found, yeah, this is punk. And then a couple songs later, yeah, this is grunge. This is Honest Don’s, this is Queens of the Stone Age, this is Nine Inch Nails. But it’s just so damn helpless, all the “I’m learning to survive.” Who the hell wants to survive? I’m reminded of a tidbit of banter I heard from Bloomington, Indiana’s hardcore The Accidents: “Hell yeah, fu** kids who come from money.”