Various Songs for Eric

There can't be any distortion pedals left in the pawnshops East of Moncton. Gooseberry's newest tribute to East coast indie has seemingly driven up their desirability. As with many covers compilations that is one of the flaws here: the third or more Eric's Trip essayers who stomp the Big Muff and clumsy up the drums in a hope of replicating the sound of 1993. A couple who manage to hit lo-fi gold are Superfantastics, whose "I'm So Near Here" captures their love of the original but still sounds like the delightful duo, and Husband & Knife's cut-to-the-bone bass and drums rendition of "Spring." The conversion from lo- to hi- (or mid-, at least) is successfully achieved by Share, who slow "Frame" into a widescreen tremolo affair, and Rebekah Higgs' wonderfully trippy "Behind the Garage," which sounds like it was beamed in from some alternate glockenspiel/shoegaze dimension. The trophy for capturing the pretty/messy/desperate balance that made Eric's Trip compelling goes to Laura Borealis's "Blue Sky for Julie/Smother," which sounds like it's being sung to a bathroom mirror while the band playing in the next room are too deep into their bar tab. These are 34 tracks of proof that Eric's Trip's idiosyncrasies remain influential and fuzzily hermetic. (Gooseberry)