Nov 30, 2008 04:30 AM • Chalk Circle, Mending Wall.

My word, did I get my money's worth out of my cassette copy of Chalk Circle's first album proper back in junior high. And I'm still abusing it today, since that Best of Chalk Circle reissue from a couple of years back failed to deliver "What Counts" and "Park Island" on CD in addition to the elevated New Wave obscurantism of "This Mourning," "My Artificial Sweetener" and "Empty Park." A freak-hit cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" absent from Mending Wall's original pressing might have been its populist calling card, but the rest of this too-smart-for-its-own-good Toronto indie artefact is as creepingly tuneful and compellingly literate today as it was in 1987. [Nice to see this, it was the first full album I produced; BTW, Kenny MacLean did the backup vocals on 20th Century Boy]