I have a serious crush on Tennessee Williams, so when I saw that Atlanta, Ga., electronic/rock/pyschedelic/ soul-ish band The Con-stellations titled their latest, Southern Gothic, I just had to consult my "American Lit. II" notes. (Good English majors retain their notes and refer to them regularly). Williams described "southern gothic" as a style that captured "an intuition, of an underlying dreadfulness in modern experience." Okay, I got that off of Wikipedia, but "underlying dreadfulness" would describe my sentiment as I listened to this album.
That's not to say that I dislike the songs; it just seems that a perfectly hooky, danceable track could easily lose its way with a cornball cliché as "Love Is A Murder" does with the refrain, "If you really wanna live, you gotta be ready to die." Tim McGraw handled that sentiment much better while riding a bull named Fu Manchu. Also, it's tough to take a band seriously when the vocalist joyfully growls how his lady friend is "so sexy when you're working on your knees, girl." I'm pretty sure there is an innuendo about lollipops that would have sufficed.
Too bad really, because on tracks like the bona fide disco bonanza, "Step Right Up," the stars align to create a particularly exquisite experience.
The Constellations plays the Palace Thursday, Sept. 2, at 9 PM with Luau Cinder. $5.