December is generally a slow month for album releases, but there are usually still a couple of great releases right before the holidays. This year, Guelph’s Missed Connection Records released their first compilation at the beginning of December featuring twelve great acts from the Royal City.
For a long time I’ve been amazed by Guelph’s music scene, making the drive up Highway 6 for Kazoo Fest or free shows at the Jimmy Jazz on a Friday night. It seems there’s never a shortage of great bands in the city and any night of the week there are a handful of great shows going on downtown, usually within a couple blocks of each other. This compilation captures some of the greatness of the city’s scene and presents it to the rest of the country in the form of a “who’s-who” of the scene.
The record largely features artists who aren’t signed to Missed Connection and so the record feels more like a tribute to the lesser known artists in town than an advertisement for the label’s catalogue. That being said this also isn’t just a collection of bedroom demos from musicians who’ve never played a show before. Each of the songs included on the record were previously unreleased, with some even recorded specifically for this project.
While the compilation roots itself in guitar-centered music, it runs the gamut within this style. Things get started on a more raucous note with the 50’s sounds of Gregory Pepper and the beautifully brash Shopkeeper and then take a quieter turn with great new songs from Alanna Gurr and Rich Burnett. One of the stand-outs on the compilation is “Cut Me Up” from Lowlands which showcases how far this band has come since their last release in 2012.
It’s great to see that Missed Connection Records is a label dedicated not only to success of their artists, but the city’s music scene more generally. They have already brought the world great records from artists like Zachary Lucky and Legato Vipers, and with this compilation it’s clear that the folks at Missed Connection are going to continue to make good things happen in Guelph.
– Ben Robinson
Music Director, CFMU 93.3