deliver highly danceable punk grooves and superb lyrics all wrapped up in a gruff, working-class-flannel exterior which has led to many Bruce Springsteen-via-Fugazi comparisons. But while this is a good and easy description for the uninitiated, it ultimately fails to encapsulate the Constantines' idiosyncrasies and apparent contradictions. For example, on the band's latest record, Tournament of Hearts
, there's the energetic, would-be union-rally-cry "Working Full-Time" and the tune "Draw Us Lines," which is about the eco-spiritualist/Wiccan author Starhawk and the idea that a song is like an incantation. Much like magic, the greatest bands can't be easily explained. It's best just to experience them for yourself.