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The Plastic Constellations

21-Jun-2006 11:55 pm Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
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June 20, 2006
Toronto, Ontario
The Horseshoe Tavern
Review and Photos by: Pete Nema
Despite the fact that the number of people present at The Horseshoe on Tuesday could barely be called an audience, The Plastic Constellations, a Minneapolis-based band that has been playing together for over 9 years, took the stage and played like they were performing for a crowd. They dealt with a heckler who was yelling incomprehensible commands and/or insults, thanked the solitary hip-hop male dancer, and used the stage time to impose some loud and energetic music onto the small group of people. Dressed in regular blue-jeans and t-shirts - they looked straight out of a basement - they plowed through a 35 minute set with short songs with irregular time signatures and off-beat vocals, showing some math rock influences mixed with a little hardcore.

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Dealing casually with a heckler One half of the duelling guitars The other half

The lead vocals are shared between Aaron Mader and Jeff Allen and consist of a lot of coordinated shouting placed between choppy beats and guitars. The songs are filled with duelling, high-pitched guitar with breaks that provide a good opportunity for the band to jump. There's definitely something that reminds me a bit of Weezer and/or The Offspring in their style, but their overall sound is a lot more like Sum 41 or Les Savy Fes (also on the French Kiss Records label). Before heading out that night I listened to the track Iron City Jungles. It's pretty catchy and after hearing them play it live it's been stuck in my mind (complete with totally incorrect lyrics) for the past 24 hours. The last song of the set was as high energy as the rest, broken up with unexpected changes and brief lulls and was held together using a strong and likeable guitar riff.

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Matt Scharenbroich on drums Show us your tattoo Jordan Roske is on bass

There were a couple of rough spots, but overall it was a good set. This band is on a pretty heavy summer tour schedule right now, so they have plenty of opportunities to get it exactly right and hopefully play in front of much larger audiences. I think I'll pick up their latest album, Crusades, from eMusic and give it a couple of runs through to see if it grows on me. You can hear four tracks from Crusades on The Plastic Constellations MySpace page and a whole bunch more on The Plastic Constellations MP3 page.


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