Various Champion Sampler

It’s too bad that most people don’t listen to this kind of music anymore; if only it were 1994 again, High School Champion could easily reign as Canada’s answer to Sub-Pop and the wave of lo-fi indie rock that ran the world back then. Each band on the label’s roster is fairly close in sound to one another, something that’s bound to happen when all the musicians involved have roots in an incestuously close scene (in this case, Toronto’s Wavelength collective). Valuing character and personality over glossed production and trained musicianship, the eight active bands that contribute to the compilation (including Folk Festival Massacre and Currently In These United States) make small mistakes and recording flaws seem charming again. But it’s probable that this sampler will go unnoticed, as most of the core audience for this style of music has since left it behind. HSC play the nostalgia card by including previous Toronto indie rock mainstays like Secret Agent and Venus Cures All, but as the recent Eric’s Trip reunion proved, most music fans need more than just good-hearted memories to get into music they’ve experienced before. (High School Champion)