This remarkably comprehensive best-of package from Saskatchewan's Northern Pikes sums up their seven-year career adeptly, thoroughly including every one of their hits as well as some of the lesser-known but equally important ones. There are three unreleased tunes sandwiched between the more popular numbers that stand up well, along with live versions of "Unimportant" and "Dancing in a Dance Club" from 1993's Gig album. Standouts throughout this set include the chord-crunching "Dream Away," re-mixed and sounding better than the original, and their most heartfelt rock song, "Believe," from 1992's Neptune. This is also the easiest place to get gems like "Kiss Me You Fool" and "Place That's Insane" or album versions of "She Ain't Pretty" and "Girl With a Problem." Both Jay Semko and Bryan Potvin take turns singing lead in this band, culminating a pleasant blend of sheer and gritty vocals. The Northern Pikes' sound teeters back and forth from wild, flyaway guitar outbursts to fine, melodic rock & roll. While their talents exceed that of a bar band, they still harbor that close, intimate feel in their music that is embodied within these 18 tracks.
Hits & Assorted Secrets: 1984-1993 Review
by Mike DeGagne