Album Review: The Constellations ‘Southern Gothic’

The Constellations
Southern Gothic
Virgin Records
Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Friday, March 12, 2010

There are a lot of influences – past and present – on The ConstellationsSouthern Gothic. From the opening bars of “Setback” we hear The Beatles providing the backbeat for some interesting rap-like vocals.

One of the things that makes The Constellations a compelling musical act – and one to watch as they grow and develop – is that they aren’t going to settle into a formula which is the death knell for so many bands these days.

Gratefully, The Constellations can’t even settle on a formula for Southern Gothic. They glide effortlessly between genres with such ease they blur the lines. They just as easily drop melodic pop vocals over electronica light as they rock out hard and with focus in quarter time.

Unlike the cookie-cutter pop bands that lock into one thing and just connects the dots, The Constellations find nooks and crannies to fill with texture and shading. There is a sense of economy in their recording. They want to put as much into each bar of music as they can.

They have found a way to make music aurally interesting without making it sound cluttered or labored.

Produced by Ben H. Allen, Southern Gothic feels like an audio snapshot of Atlanta and the diversity of that thriving city. This disc delivers the goods like the curb man at the Varsity. For those not aware, the “curb man” is in reference to the Varsity restaurant that is world famous – and in Atlanta.

Stand out tracks:
“Love Is A Murder” and “December”

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