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Songs for Eric

May 8, 2009

Various Artists – Songs for Eric: A Tribute to Eric’s Trip (2009)

I think the first time I ever heard Eric’s Trip (and I mean ever, ever, ever) was the result of seeing the above video on MuchMusic’s Indie Street sometime around 1993. I’ve ranted about the devolution of MuchMusic since that era many times before, so I won’t do it again now, but really? Can you imagine a world where “the nation’s music station” promoted independent bands instead of The Hills? At the time I was just amazed to learn people in my neck of the woods were making music like that, and had no idea I was privileged to come of age at a time when it was possible for small town lame-o’s like me to hear it in their living rooms. Anyway.

As for this comp: I like it overall, but it’s quite uneven, as compilations and especially tribute albums are wont to be. The standout tracks for me (after listening all the way through exactly twice) are “Girlfriend” (Dog Day), “What I Meant” (Play Guitar), and “Need” (Adam Mowery). I was really excited for the VKNGS track ( “You’re Always Right”) but I was a little disappointed it didn’t contain more of their signature “ridiculously heavy and loud”-ness. It’s still by far one of the best ones on here, and ultimately I think they struck a pretty good balance between making the thing their own without bulldozing the original. I also liked Share‘s rendition of “Frame” a lot more than I thought I would. I’m not normally much of a Share fan, but their stripped-down, slightly psychedelic treatment of this song is refreshing.

A little while ago Eric from Backstreet Records mentioned he’d gotten a review copy. When asked for his verdict, he said a lot of bands on here made the mistake of trying really hard to sound like Eric’s Trip. “The trouble with that,” he said to a Saturday record store crowd, “is I think Eric’s Trip ended up sounding the way they did mostly by accident.” This is a fair assessment of this record. But there’s also a lot of love and reverence here, and you can feel it.

For fans of: Canadian independent music past and present, low fidelity, distortion

4 Comments leave one →
  1. passerine songs permalink*
    May 8, 2009 6:49 pm

    Agreed on all points.

    Play Guitar need to get another record out!


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