A new Hip EP in 2021?!?!?!? Whaaaa????!!!!… said no one. We ALL knew the post-humous releases were going to be heading our way after The Tragically Hip’s team captain Gord Downie passed away in 2017. Lost tapes will be found, unreleased live shows will be released, remixes and remasters will be remixed and remastered. So, Saskadelphia wasn’t exactly a surprise and will be the first of many to come.
But, this expected arrival didn’t make it any less exciting! Announced on May 21st, 2021, and boom! It hit the streets the very next day. I’ve been told by people who watch hockey it was promoted a lot during last year’s playoffs, and we Canadians welcomed it by making it Canada’s fourth best-selling vinyl record of 2021. Good to know some Canadian rock ‘n roll can still make waves somewhere.
The EP is mostly a collection of outtakes recorded during the band’s 1990 studio sessions that eventually became the album, Road Apples. The dropped tracks were thought to have been lost during the Universal Studios fire in 2008 but resurfaced in 2019 when they were found to be safe in Canada. The single outlier is Montreal. The song itself was born within the same timeframe, but the recordings for it are lost, lost. So we get a live track from 2000 instead. But hey, ANY addition to the Hip’s library is something to celebrate, even if I can understand why these songs originally didn’t make the cut.
Let’s say this is my first time listening to Saskadelphia and all I know about the songs is that they are outtakes, but not from which album. If you had me later guess, I would probably go with Up To Here from ’89. The band’s sound is neck-deep in that Rolling Stone-inspired vibe they had prior to Road Apples. And I think that is why they didn’t end up on the album. The band was coming into their own at the time, and these songs would seem like a bit of a step back.
As I listen to Saskadelphia though, I am half wishing they held onto the bar band sound for just one more round. 5 out of the 6 songs make for some really strong, hard-rockin’ album tracks. Especially the final track, Reformed Baptist Blues which might be the heaviest song they have ever recorded.
My goodness, I’d love to hear some hard rock outfits like Danko Jones cover that.
Montreal is the only song I’m not fond of as I find it to be a drag to listen to. The rest, Ouch, Not Necessary, Crack My Spine Like A Whip, and Just As Well, are aces. The band had a great swing during this period, so it was marvelous to hear it in these freshly uncovered songs. Thinking about how we could have received them 31 years ago on an Up To Here, Part 2 type of album… ah, it was not meant to be, I guess.
Get More Hip from Canadian Grooves!
[EP Review] The Tragically Hip – Self Titled EP
[Album Review] Up To Here
[Album Review] Road Apples
[Album Review] Fully Completely
[Album Review] Day For Night
[Album Review] Trouble At The Henhouse
[Album Review] Live Between Us
[Album Review] Phantom Power
[Album Review] Music @ Work
[Album Review] In Violet Light
[Album Review] In Between Evolution
[DVD Review] That Night In Toronto
[Album Review] Yer Favourites
[Album Review] World Container
[Album Review] We Are the Same
[Album Review] Now for Plan A
[Blu-ray Review] Bobcaygeon
[Album Review] Fully Completely Deluxe Edition
[Album Review] Man Machine Poem
[Blu-ray Review] Long Time Running
[Blu-ray Review] A National Celebration
[EP Review] Saskadelphia
[Book Review] The Never-Ending Present | The Story Of Gord Downie And The Tragically Hip