Canadian pride has always figured prominently in the Weakerthans canon (government subsidization helps) but even taking than into account, South of their border, a fair amount of eyebrows were raised when lead Weakerthan John K. Samson announced an initiative wherein he would release a series of seven-inches about Manitoba roads. We got two and then word came out that there would be a full-length solo effort instead. Both initial releases are reprised on Provincial, with another six appended for good measure. I like them ok, with the brooding Grace General probably taking top honors. All of the tracks are unmistakably Samson, albeit without the rocked up trappings. That said, songs like Cruise Night definitely fit in the mold of later period Weakerthans, so johnny and janie come-latelys stand little chance of being scared away. Older fans may be a tad non-plussed, but Provincial is far from a bad record.
See for yourself here at the Anti- web presence. John K is here.