Something of a Canadian wunderkind, Plaskett appears to be the guiding light of Canadian indie rock gathering awards galore throughout his career. This splendidly named collection gathers together a bunch of rarities, demos, b-sides and the likes covering the years 1999-2010 both solo and with his band Emergency. With no information other than the year of recording available on this review copy there’s a serious opportunity to delve into Google and search for the provenance of each song if you wish and it’s a fair bet that after hearing the album you might want to delve and delve.
With such an eclectic choice there’s little cohesion to the collection as a whole. Pumped up rockers such as “Snowed In” sit side by side with a superb cover of Tim Hardin’s “Black Sheep Boy.” The thread that unites all of the selection is Plaskett’s yearning vocals and some wonderful guitar thrashing. While Plaskett can come across as a Canadian version of Billy Bragg (On The rail and A Million Dollars) he excels on power pop propulsions with “Please Don’t Return” and “Drunk Teenagers” excellent examples of the genre. However away from the pop and rock the highlight here is the sardonic “My Failing Health” where Plaskett approaches the grim sense of humour the late Vic Chessnutt inhabited.
Although this collection might be aimed at his fanbase it also works as a fine primer for anyone coming across Plaskett for the first time.
by Paul Kerr