TournamConstantinesent of Hearts

The easiest comparison to float The Constantines’ way joins the blue-collar impassioned stadium rock of Springsteen with the twisted guitar panic of the dearly loved, disbanded indie legends Archers of Loaf. Tournament of Hearts is the Canadian band’s third full length, still witnessing a band in growth mode, wrestling with the freedom and experimentation rife in the rock underground at odds with a bigger, more accessible soulful rock sound. The results are mixed, with the album’s greatest strengths belonging to its more intimate, melodic moments. “Soon Enough” is a sweet mid-tempo country ballad finding vocalist Bryan Webb dispensing a protagonist’s fatherly advice to the son, plaintively crooning, “Women are winning the tournament of hearts, somebody’s got to lose…” Only to conclude, “Soon enough, work and love will make a man out of you.” The Constantines can stir up a loud guitar ruckus with the best of ’em, but it’s the gentle strum and whisper that reveals the real poetry here.