June 24, 2005

Various Artists "One Scene to Another"

Though our neighbors up to the North sometimes get a bit of ribbing for their clean highways and leftist ways, but their ability to produce excellent bands and musicians cannot be denied. It hasn't been until recently, though, that they've made a visible contribution to the independent music world. One Scene to Another, though, pays tribute to the indie-rock scene of our Canadian friends. This tribute is fascinating, as it's a collection of unknown bands from the Detroit area, and they're paying tribute to the mid-1990s Canadian scene.

Though the bands on One Scene to Another might lack name recognition--save for Mood Elevator, which is Brendan Benson's side project--that doesn't mean they lack quality. Several highlights include the driving new-wave pop of New Granada's cover of Eric's Trip's "Smother" is instantly adorable, and Ten Words For Snow's crunchy cover of Zumpano's "I Dig You" is nice, too. Also noteworthy is The Recital's surf-rock take on Eric Trip's "Follow," The W-Vibe's spaced-out futuristic computer version of Thrush Hermit's "French Inhale" and Fire Engine Red's version of Hayden's "You Are All I Have," which is every bit as pretty as the original.

While One Scene to Another might be a little too heavy on a few bands--several bands are tributed more than once, and many of the bands already had minor American name recognition--that's a minor quibble, because the songs found on here are pretty good themselves, and you probably wouldn't have known these were covers, anyway. It's a nice idea, and it's even nicer that the ones who compiled this record were also sensible enough to include information as to where you can find the original versions. Plus, this is a great stepping stone for finding out about some great Detroit bands and some classic Canadian indie-rock.

--Joseph Kyle

Label Website: http://www.plumlinerecords.com

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