Stripper's Union Local 518

Showing that Gord Downie is not the only member of the Tragically Hip with wild musical ideas that don’t fit within the band’s structure, guitarist Rob Baker here has teamed up with former Odds co-leader Craig Northey for this unexpected and unusual project. Actually, this is more accurately a full Hip/Odds meeting, as many members of both bands contribute parts. Still, Stripper’s Union is a collaboration of Baker and Northey’s songwriting, and as might be expected, it is a collision between the latter’s pop craftsmanship and the former’s hard rock heroics. Generally, the songs sound like they were written by a couple of CanRock veterans, as the lyrics to "Full Flow Angry Boy,” "Bullet Proof White Limo,” "Lost Lost Highway” and others reflect the insanity of life on the road. But, like most side projects, it’s hard to imagine anyone outside of loyal fans getting behind it, given the assumption that the pair still save their best ideas for their individual careers. However, the Hip’s last few albums certainly could have used some songs as spontaneous and unpretentious as these. (Universal)