Even if Canadian music earned international hype in the ’00s, we’re not going to lie: We have a soft spot for pre-Y2K Cancon. That’s because, in the ’90s, Canadian music was in a special place—it was a decade that saw MuchMusic—and their loveable cast of characters—at the peak of their powers. It was an era where cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax contributed to the grunge canon. And it’s an era that established today’s musical zeitgeist: Sloan, Eric’s Trip, and the Tragically Hip continue to shape Canadian culture decades after they were established.
So, we’ve put together a quiz to test your knowledge of the era. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite alternative albums of the Roadside Attraction (or, depending on who you are, the Edgefest / Lilith Fair / Snow Jam) era. Scroll through the gallery of magnified albums above, and see how many you can name. Don’t forget to take a tally, and don’t worry—we’ve included an answer key below.
When you’re done, here’s how to grade yourself.
45-58 points: Congratulations! You’re officially certified to instruct a course on Canrock at your town’s college campus (WUSSUP GEORGE BROWN). You’ve probably purchased an album from Zunior, have applied dreadlock wax to Ken MacNeil’s hair, have bodychecked Grant Lawrence / Dave Bidini / Gord Downie at an Exclaim! hockey tournament, and then… went home and purchased another album from Zunior. Remember that time your band played Jonovision? You should totally reunite Sweener.
35-44 points: Yes, you got your start listening to Brave New Waves, CFNY, and The Wedge, just like the rest of us. But your Canadian music knowledge didn’t begin and end with Jeff Martin-Jim Morrison jokes—you can likely name numerous bands from Guelph, London, Lethbridge, and Victoria. We’ll see your corduroy-clad ass Hillside, bub.
25-34 points: You might be wearing Mod Robes and Snug now, but we see right through you: Last week, you were rocking that forest green Northern Reflections sweater. That’s cool. Put on Scenery and Fish again.
15-25 points: Eur. As in, YOUR A POSEUR.
1. 54-40—Trusted By Millions
2. Age of Electric—Make a Pest a Pet
3. Ashley MacIsaac—Hi, How Are You Today
4. Barenaked Ladies—Gordon
5. Bif Naked—I, Bificus
6. Big Wreck—In Loving Memory Of…
7. By Divine Right—Bless This Mess
8. Change of Heart—Steel Teeth
10. Crash Test Dummies—God Shuffled His Feet
11. Cub—Box of Hair
13. Econoline Crush—The Devil You Know
14. Eric’s Trip—Love Tara
15. Flashing Lights—Where the Change Is
16. Gandharvas—Sold For a Smile
19. Hardship Post—Somebody Spoke
20. Hayden—Everything I Long For
21. Headstones—Smile and Wave
23. Holly McNarland—Stuff
24. Huevos Rancheros—Get Outta Dodge
25. I Mother Earth—Scenery and Fish
26. The Inbreds—It’s Sydney or the Bush
27. Alanis Morissette—Jagged Little Pill
28. Jale—So Wound
30. Kittens—Tiger Comet
31. Len—You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush
34. Noah’s Arkweld—Fun!
35. Our Lady Peace—Clumsy
36. Plumtree—Predicts the Future
39. Rheostatics—Whale Music
42. Serial Joe—Face Down
43. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet—Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham
44. Sianspheric—There’s Always Someplace You’d Rather Be
45. Sloan—One Chord to Another
46. Sloan—Twice Removed
47. Super Friendz—Mock Up, Scale Down
48. The Tea Party—Transmission
49. The Odds—Good Weird Feeling
50. The Watchmen—Silent Radar
51. Thrush Hermit—Clayton Park
52. Gob—Too Late, No Friends
53. The Tragically Hip—Day For Night
54. The Tragically Hip—Trouble in the Henhouse
55. Tristan Psionic—The Sounds Of
56. V/A—Big Shiny Tunes
58. Zumpano—Look What the Rookie Did