The status of Constantines is, unfortunately, something of a mystery right now. Though there’s been no official break up (that I’m aware of anyway), the Canadian indie-rock heroes are certainly on some sort of indefinite hiatus, having not released any new material since 2008’s Kensington Heights. They are sorely missed, especially considering the way so much current independent music is shifting aware from loud electric guitars and singers who sound like they mean it. Not that there’s anything wrong with the current state of independent music. Synth-pop and gauzy beach jams are fine, but it’s just that the world can always use a bunch of dudes who know how to bring some clattering, glorious rock & roll. Nah’mean?
Despite his main band’s current dormancy, the recent release of Bry Webb’s solo debut, Provider, has flown almost completely under the radar. This somber, reflective collection of songs deserves more than that – it’s a true grower of a record and the fruition of the blue collar, everyman themes that have run through some of the Constantines’ best recent material (“Soon Enough”, “Our Age”, “Do What You Can Do”). Downplaying his typically savage growl, Webb’s gruff vocals really shine here as he sings songs about familial responsibility over acoustic guitars, pedal steel, and muted horns. There’s not a weak track on Provider, but some of the best seem to be directed at specific loved ones – “Ada” (his son), “Persistent Spirit” (his wife), and “Undertaker” (his grandmother). Consider this ex-punk all grown up and making some of the most quietly intense music of his career.
MP3 :: Rivers of Gold
(from Provider. Buy here)