Various Artists – Cavalcade of the Scars

University in Canada will always make me think of secondhand furniture, secondhand clothes and first rate music. Apart from the crippling debt that awaits you on graduation, university is a utopic respite that allows for just the right amount of free time to start a band. I get the sense from this compilation of music from Victoria (the city, not the queen) that most of the players went to university. Some might even still be there. The music is all over the map (if your map is of County Rootsy Rock) but it has the feel of a party where everybody gets up the nerve to sing a tune. And then everyone else cheers. Ah, utopia. (Terence Dick)

CD, Self Righteous Records, www.selfrighteousrecords.com

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