Music News

Constellations

Promises are worth about as much as the bullshit they're written in. Local bands are the worst: They come on all young and passionate but wind up riding their initial spurt of inspiration into the dirt -- usually in the form of a lackluster debut. In under a year, Constellations' coupling of romance and menace has kicked up a considerable buzz, and Sistering (whose release will be celebrated on Friday, January 14, at Monkey Mania) is its digitized manifestation. But is it all a tease? Thirty seconds into "Animal Virtue," the disc's opener, you'll forget any doubts you ever had. Amid scalding splashes of guitar and chrome-throated coos, visions of violence and surrealist lust are thrown about with poltergeist-like force, touching on everything from Pere Ubu to Trail of Dead. Guarded, coded and trembling with treble, Sistering takes some elbow grease to unpeel. But lurking within layers of neon animus and razor-shorn melody is the potential for something leaner, creepier and even more consuming. And that's not a threat; it's a promise.