One of Vancouver's best kept secrets, it's hard to do justice to Veal in any simple description. Terms like power-pop or post-punk are as inevitable as they are inaccurate, although a quirky, genial mix of the two is right on target. Starting with 1996's Hot Loser they managed to release three albums that obstinately followed their own slack muse through balladry, gloom, boogie, pop, and anything else that fell off the table the night before. At the heart of it all was leader Luke Doucet, who put a stake in the beast after 2003's Embattled Hearts and moved on to Toronto and a similarly quirky (though considerably less rockin') solo career.
Luke Doucet has never been for everybody, and thank god for that. His influences and ambitions range far too wide to be funneled into a previously existing mold. As a singer/songwriter he's among the best of the decade, but he's also a fairly spectacular guitarist (but not in that wanky deedly deedly geetar flash kind of way - Luke's more about melody and finding the emotional core of the song). For an example of exactly that, give "Cleveland" a listen at the end of this mix. The collection also offers a quick run-through of some old Veal highlights, something from each of his studio solo albums, as well as a taste of Doucet's new release Steel City Trawler, which is available right now on i-Tunes. Nab that thang, people.
3. Centre of the Universe
5. Everybody Wants More Cocaine
7. Judy Garland
10. It's Not The Liquor I Miss
11. One Too Many
13. The Commandante
14. Dirty, Dirty Blonde
Tracks 1, 14 from Steel City Trawler (2010)
Tracks 2, 3, 4 by Veal from Tilt O'Whirl (1999)
Tracks 5, 6, 7 by Veal from Embattled Hearts (2003)
Tracks 8, 9 from Aloha, Manitoba (2001)
Tracks 10, 11, 12 from Broken (And Other Rogue States) (2005)
Tracks 13, 15 from Blood's Too Rich (2008)