Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Sloan, A Sides Win

Sloan is a guitar pop or power pop band that has had a long, consistent and successful career in their home country of Canada.  “A Sides Win” is a retrospective that collects all sloanof their singles released between 1992 and 2005.  Like most guitar pop bands they feature melodic, guitar driven rock and pop with anthemic choruses.  The band has had great success in Canada but has had a harder time breaking into the American market.  Part of the problem stemmed from their initial label, DGC, refusing to promote their second album because the band insisted on doing the music they wanted to do rather than doing the grunge the label wanted. 

Sloan is Jay Fergusen (guitar), Patrick Pentland (guitar), Chris Murphy (bass) and Andrew Scott (drums).  Fergusen, Pentland and Murphy all sing and their vocal arrangements tend to stress double or triple massed voices rather than vocal harmony.  Album opener “Underwhelmed” features clever writing that is never replicated in the series of singles contained on “A Sides Win”.  Shame about that but it does make me want to give “Smeared”, the album on which “Underwhelmed” appeared, a listen.  As the band has aged they appear to have shifted slightly from an indie rock to more of a straight rock groove.  It’s not a big difference and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing as they produce solid guitar pop throughout.  While nothing on “A Sides Win” is as immediately arresting as, say, Teenage Fanclub’s “Neil Jung”, Sloan is an above average, tight, and competant guitar pop band.  Guitar pop fans who are unfamiliar with Sloan should definately check them out.  Listeners who want to hear what guitar pop is like might be better served to give Teenage Fanclub’s retrospective “Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Six Seconds” a listen.

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07/01/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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