New EP Curious Design out now.
Who: Cassie Youngstrom (Vocals, guitar), James Keogh (Bass, backing vocals), Stephen Zimmer (Drums).
What: Alternative rock/punk (FFO: The Replacements, Beach Slang, Sleater-Kinney)
Where: New York, NY.
Why: You might think to yourself that the whole Replacements/Husker Du slightly unhinged alternative rock thing has been done absolutely to death. And you might be right to an extent. But the effect of that over abundance is that when you find a band who does such an excellent job of it, you really have to treasure them.
New York trio Constant Companion are one such band. Combining wordy lyrics and a stream of consciousness delivery with a straight forward but arrestingly earnest alternative rock sound, they are a reflective, vulnerable, and yet defiant response to the incongruities of life.
‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is a prime example of their approach. Appropriating the kind of chiming riff that Paul Westerberg made his bread and butter from, the track is musically a celebration. However, the lyrics mine an honesty and nuance that is rare to find in a three minute rock song: “I made myself untouchable / By letting everybody have their fill / Now I am numb to the touch of an honest will / And I am always alone”.
Later on the song makes subtle reference to the Greek myth of Sisyphus, before coming to some kind of solution in a desire for some purpose: “I want violence and love, fear and lust / I want radical thought and political dissidence / I need a reason to breathe that is of greater consequence.”
The rest of the EP is equally strong. There’s ‘Patsy Cline’ which is replete with down and dirty punk riffs and a wonderful reference to the Cline song ‘Crazy’ which links to the narrater’s descent into drunken madness. There’s ‘Curious Design’, a more laid back track and lyrics that explore the nature of the artistic process and how that provides purpose. Finally there’s ‘Hard Line (Straight and Narrow)’ which mines a lo-fi pop punk vibe and has the wonderful line, “I got a heart like a Mack truck / Tracking rubber through my guts.”
Grab Curious Design for free on Bandcamp.
Find Constant Companion on Facebook.