LabelThe Mylene Sheath
Your RatingCreate an account or log in to rate this album
Dear reader, you must excuse my slight exuberance, but it is not often that my collegiate background is pertinent to reviewing music. However, thanks to a group of Bostonians, my degree in Pharmacy is slightly relevant. The album in question is named after a genus of flowering plants known affectionately as the Passion Flower. The Native Americans used one of the species’ leaves for medicinal use, making it into a tea that treated epilepsy, hysteria, and (pertinent here) insomnia. Once dried, the leaves could also be smoked, which was helpful for epileptic workers in the field. No Native Americans were available for comment on the methods used to smoke this flower.
That random bit of history and science is rather relevant to Constants’ fourth full-length, Pasiflora, as the record finds the band delving further (way further) into a dreamy, synth-laden shoegaze sound. The band can no longer easily be compared to bands like Thrice or Isis (except for “Austere”).
Instead, Pasiflora sits in some sort of limbo between the hazy progressive pop of Mew and the stadium-sized shoegaze of M83. It is easy to imagine this album playing in the mind of a “native remedy”-induced dream. Constants manages to pump in as much noise as possible into each song, yet each track is soothing despite the noise. The vocals alternate between whispered falsettos and haunting harmonies, and the wall of synth and massive reverb give the album a decidedly hazy, almost underwater sound. This is clearly a lighter record than what listeners have come to expect from Constants. In fact, the “heaviest” moment on the album is found on “Passenger”, wherein the guitars actually play a greater role on the track. There is something close to a riff that is played throughout the track; however, the reverb-drenched sound drowns out the riff to the point where it becomes a part of the dream instead of the totem that ensures you of your reality.
The best track on the album is, well, all of them. Though, if I absolutely had to choose, the honor goes to the beautiful “Mourning.” The shift in sound was more than a bit jarring at first, but once you allow the literal wall of sound to enclose you in, the whole thirty eight minutes is consistently excellent. Of course, it all runs together at times in large part because of that consistency, which is a slight issue. However, if a mixture of Mew and M83 sounds appealing, this is really a dream album.