Surprisingly, not one of the Constellations’ seven band members feels superfluous. Instead, they come together onstage to create the relaxed atmosphere of a small party, running the gamut from energetic bongos to tambourine girls. Integrating electronic elements into a sound that could be borrowed from the Raconteurs,the band might traffic in "indie", but its heart is clearly rooted in funk. Unashamedly throwback at points, and more interested in having fun than looking cool, the Constellations' conviction comes across in every song.
Hockey, meanwhile focuses more on a sexy electro-pop sound with the emphasis on pop. Names like the xx, Memory Tapes, or even YACHT spring to mind at times, but Hockey’s lighter sensibility makes for pithier, danceable numbers. Befitting a first album, the songs can be uneven, but the group’s energy, exemplified in all-around entertaining and totally winning frontman Benjamin Grubin, doesn’t let the momentum drag. Even if you can resist the urge to jump up and dance, you’ll still find yourself sitting up to take notice. -- Anne Royston