Quick Hitters:: Sloan The Double Cross

It’s not a new angle to admit we take Sloan for granted. I mean, the band has been around since Jesus was wearing short pants and they’ve been as consistently spot on as any band in the business. The thing is, power pop crunchers that tip their collective caps to classic touch points don’t sell newspapers or drive blog traffic. They will never be the hot new thing, and often get ignored for whatever buzz band is recording songs underwater, sampling Nigeria funk loops fused with meta-tagged raps.

 

It’s too easy to think Sloan sounds like bands that define music and eras, instead of realizing they’ve actually become one and offer the appropriate praise. More impressive, it’s amazing how ubiquitous the band has become. A simple tweet about being “underwhelmed” by the Raps draft pick can start a twitter meme. A local Halifax West legend/hard rock can see Joel Plaskett at a stop light, recognize him and still yell “SLOAN!” by mistake. You can name a song and feel people reliving the best memories they have associated with the melody. Sloan has become a reference point and measuring stick for our generation.

 

So where does that leave the band’s new record, The Double Cross. Considering the Halifax ex-pats are celebrating twenty years in the biz, it’s amazing that The Double Cross sounds better than they have in years. There’s not a bad song on the record. You never feel like the boys are simply going through the motions and churning out more of their trademark riffs and even more impressive, they deliver some f@cking jams. “Unkind” might be the song of the summer (although, you could just as easily pick “Beverley Terrace”). It’s sing-along/bbq ready and to quote Mr. Naedoo, “Unkind is my jam right now, and if you don’t like it, I will fight you.” Most bands would be happy to find one song that good and create a record to surround it, but the first three songs on The Double Cross are pretty well undeniable.

 

When people see the record on the Polaris Long List, it might feel like a lifetime achievement award, but honestly, this is a worthy addition to their catalog and their legacy. Punchy, hooky as hell and just enough ballads (“Green Gardens, Cold Montreal”) and sound experiments to prevent the record from feeling stale. Make no mistake, this is a Sloan record. It’s about time we started cherishing that description instead of using it as a lukewarm acceptance, as most bands don’t last twenty years and almost none still sound better than ever.

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MP3:: Sloan - Follow The Leader
Bandcamp:: http://www.sloanmusic.com

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 10:08 am and is filed under 2011, Canada, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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