Craig Northey of Odds and Rob Baker from the Hip concoct pure pop with Strippers Union's "We Are the Underworld"

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      A few days ago the Straight posted a blog in which Vancouver guitar great Shaun Verreault was asked to name his five favourite local bands and musicians.

      One of the acts he mentioned was Strippers Union, which features Craig Northey from the Odds and guitarist Rob Baker from the Tragically Hip.

      Verreault had heard an advance copy of the band's new double album, The Undertaking, and was mighty impressed.

      "Craig's forwarded me a preview copy to check out," he said, "and it's excellent. It's such deep and interesting songwriting; it's like the Kinks for our generation."

      Today Strippers Union released a YouTube video of that album's opening track, "We Are the Underworld", and it sounds like Verreault was right on. It is indeed excellent, and it definitely sounds a bit like the Kinks.

      "We were musing on the idea that the majority of beings live behind the scene lives with no perceived power or glory," says Baker in a press release, "often unaware of the power they actually hold, individually and collectively - especially as ‘we’. The ingenuity required to survive is more amazing than the trivial exploits of the ‘powerful’. The real power waits and it's beautiful when it shows itself. ‘We’re the dirt that starts the pearl’.”

      The Undertaking was recorded at the Bathouse Studio near Kingston, Ontario with the Odds rhythm section of drummer Pat Steward and bassist Doug Elliott. Disc 1 of the double LP will be released digitally on February 5, and Disc 2 will arrive March 12. The album is also available on limited-edition white vinyl, which includes both discs and arrives February 5. You can order here.

      Craig Northey (left) and Rob Baker lead Strippers Union.
      David Bastedo