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Known mainly for rocking, sometimes rather cheeky numbers like She Ain’t Pretty, Kiss Me You Fool, and Girl With a Problem, Saskatoon’s own Northern Pikes peaked around 1990 with their double-platinum album Snow in June, disbanded a few years later, then reformed to release Truest Inspiration in 2001, on which appeared this elegant, lovely, and sadly overlooked story of unrequited love tinged with resignation. Musically, it’s a bit of a mash-up, with a melody that sounds a little (or a lot) like a riff on Hagood Hardy’s The Homecoming, of all things (readers of a certain age will remember the famous soundtrack for the 1972 Salada Tea commercial), with a guitar line borrowed from the Beatles’ It’s Only Love repeated at the end, but it’s all brought together into a lush and mournful whole, the like of which no one who knew the group only from its most popular output would have had any reason to expect from them.

Oh, how he longs for this girl…

I’m kissin’ your eyes as you fall asleep
I’m watching you breath so peacefully
I’m dreaming of what will never be
Over and over again

…but it’s hopeless, she’s not into guys like him, i.e. (one gathers) ordinary schmucks who might be a little light in the wallet. Well then, he tells her, pretending she’s listening, if it all falls apart and he drives you away, go with God and grace, but don’t come looking for love around here, ’cause I sure as hell don’t have what you’re looking for. Bitter? Maybe. A little petulant even? O.K., sure, but look, if you can’t be bitter and a little petulant when you’re struggling with the ugly truth that you just don’t make the cut, and your heart’s breaking, well, then I guess I just don’t know.

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