Sparkmarker Treasure Chest (1990-1997)

Despite large followings south of the border and overseas, the post-punk-guitar-wallop of Vancouver’s Sparkmarker was, for the most part, lost on their own nation. Maybe it was their bold, adventurous and at times challenging Fugazi-meets-Jesus Lizard sound or the fact that they were just ahead of their time. I'm willing to bet that if they released their brilliant 500 Watt Burner at Seven disc now, things would be different. This disc serves as a history lesson and testament to one of the best bands this country has ever produced. Running the gambit from their earliest demos to the later days, Treasure Chest includes hard to find stuff as well as tracks members of the band have recorded since the band's demise. As a result, the sound quality is uneven, but not annoyingly so. About the only real shortcoming of the disc is the failure to identify the origin of each track. The liner notes feature words, photos and flyers from birth to death, but doesn’t tell us what era the songs are from or where they originally appeared. It doesn't take away from what really matters — the music. This package is an obvious must for completists, but will also be appreciated by fans of intelligent punk. (Revelation)