Lurching Guitars and Desperate Come-Ons Mark Constant Lovers’ Latest

Constant Lovers, Experience Feelings (3/18, Good to Die, goodtodierecords.com) The cover image’s ghastly sensuality—a monstrous Photoshopped composite of all four hairy members—is spot-on for this release, a heavy, grunged-out art-rock record that sounds like Oscar the Grouch’s desperate come-ons to a potential Muppet-mate, doing his best to convince her that he won’t bite even though he lives in a smelly trash can. “I may be only 130 pounds/But I’m a tough cookie, macaroon, a snickerdoodle/Why don’t you ask me about my mean-guy scowl?” yelps rakish frontman Joel Cuplin in “Snickerdoodle” before menacing guitars rocket their way in, blowing the track wide open. This give-and-take between Cuplin’s surreal, goofy screaming and the Fugazi-style feedback that pepper the album drives the record’s main dynamic—one notably less drum-centric than that of the band’s last effort, True Romance. There are moments when the drums still take the forefront (“Cry Me a River” and album standout “Hey Bo Didley”), but for the most part, the band has traded its extra floor toms to focus on more rhythmic songwriting overall. Guitars lurch in and out of Cuplin’s vocals in stop-start zig-zag patterns, like a drunk wobbling toward you lustily but tripping on himself the whole way there. 

 
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