Ford Pier Pier-ic Victory

Eccentric Canadian sideman extraordinaire Ford Pier has gained an underground rep as one of the most gifted musicians around. Having been in such pioneering bands as Jr. Gone Wild and D.O.A., Pier has gone onto to be a valuable addition to bands belonging to Veda Hille, Carolyn Mark, and Martin Tielli. With one solo record on NoMeansNo’s Wrong Records and another on Joey Shithead’s Sudden Death, Pier has art-punk cred in spades and the eclectic sound of Pier-ic Victory speaks to his diverse musical resume. Soulful laments such as the introductory "Legionnaire’s Song” and the later "Why On Earth” drip with irony and feature the insistent Pier crooning veritable church hymns. By and large, however, the album seems to have two distinctive styles — ambitious pop rock in the vein of the Rheostatics and irreverent prog punk à la NoMeansNo. Songs such as "Scarlet Thread” and "Charmed, I’m Sure” could’ve easily found a home on Tielli’s last album Operation Infinite Joy, (which featured Pier in a supporting role). While Tielli’s reciprocal appearance on Pier’s record is relatively minute, NoMeansNo drummer John Wright’s towering presence here causes many songs to resemble the work of his own band. Wright’s playing coupled with Pier’s dry humour suggests that "Estrus,” the 0+2=1 motif-borrowing "I Don’t Know Nothin’ About Nothin’” and "The Song In My Heart” should really appeal to NoMeansNo fans hoping to cut back on their Rob Wright carbs. While the collaborative comparisons may seem like a critical escape route, Pier-ic Victory truly provides insightful parallels between Pier’s solo work and his work with others. Fans of those "others” are encouraged to take notice. (Six Shooter)