Monday, April 20, 2009

Constantines - Shine A Light

Submitted by : Michael Beaton

My friend Mike, a drummer from Westville, NS, suggested I do something on Doug MacGregor of Constantines, and am glad someone else has an appreciation for such a great Canadian drummer.

When I think of Constantines, two things come to mind.

I always think of Back Where You Came From by Peter Mansbridge and The CBC's. The first lines are :

I loved a girl once, but she only loved rock stars...
I caught her one night, getting filled by one of the Constantines
so hard, the whole town could hear it.

It always made me laugh, and the rest of the song is so damn clever I will never forget the lyrics.

The second think I think of, is that if The Constantines were an American band, and they were around in the seventies, Bruce Springsteen would be just another bum on the streets of New Jersey.

As long as Doug MacGregor was still playing drums for them.

The Constantines write great songs, with great lyrics and great riffs, but the extra kick, that extra push over the edge into genius is the passion that Doug MacGregor puts into his playing. The way he plays during certain vocal lines make them much more anthemic. I have never heard a drummer who knew how to compliment vocal melodies so much.

Shine a Light is the best example of that. I think we get more of a glimpse of Doug's wild side a little bit more. Later songs like Working Full Time or Love in Fear still have that anthemic feel, but I find his playing a little more subdued. It still works, it just doesn't get you as pumped up as National Hum, or Young Lions off of this record. Doug also has a higher average of slick moments on this record than most drummers. I love the double ride bell in National Hum and the beat for Nighttime anytime (It's Alright) flows, yet is still technically challenging. I think in ten or twenty years this album will be seen as a major achievement for Canadian music, and if I'm wrong, well, can someone just give Doug MacGregor a pat on the back for me?

Thanks Mike.

Audio/Visual Evidence: Young Lions, Nighttime Anytime (It's Alright), Shine a Light

1 comment:

  1. Thus far, Shine a Light has been the best example of this guys skills. Good choice.