In the early 90s, the music industry's hunger for grunge led to sudden fame for a number of scrappy independent bands in Halifax. For a while, the east coast Canadian city was being called the "Seattle of the North," and the scene spawned a ton of great acts. The term "Halifax Pop Explosion" now refers to the long-running annual music festival, but for a moment was also shorthand for the entire local scene. The best-known members of that community were of course Sloan (who play the Phoenix tonight), but a number of other great acts were spawned as well.
After 20 years in the business, Sloan released the Double Cross, one of the best albums of their career. No longer a scrappy grunge band, they've grown to be one of our favourite pure power pop acts ever.
2. Eric's Trip
Named after a Sonic Youth song, Eric's Trip were the first Canadian act to get signed to Sub Pop, but broke up in 1996 before achieving much commercial success. Nevertheless, their influence still looms large in contemporary lo-fi noise pop circles. (And yes, we know they were from Moncton, New Brunswick, but we all know they got swept up as part of this wave of Atlantic Canada hype.)
3. Thrush Hermit
As a solo artist, Joel Plaskett is more well known than his original band, but given the success of their 2010 reunion, fans have not forgotten how much they loved them.
4. The Inbreds
Technically the Inbreds were a Kingston band, but they relocated to Halifax in 1996 and were closely associated with that scene. They were pioneers of the duo approach to rock music that's since been popularized by acts like the White Stripes and Black Keys.
5. The Super Friendz
Like many of their 90s contemporaries, the Super Friendz have also reunited in recent years (thanks to an invitation by the Halifax Pop Explosion festival, of course).