Pyramid Cabaret Tonight, 9 p.m. Tickets: $35.50 at Ticketmaster, Soul Survivors, Into the Music So we’d come in — he’s a real ‘vibe’ guy, like a surfer basically — put on a click, weird beat, and be like: ‘Just play something. Now you play something. All right, you play something.’ “And it was just garbage.” Considering Sloan has always essentially been composed of four solo artists, their cohesion and consistency is surprising. Pentland attributes it in part to the fact that, individually, their tastes have been more or less unchanging since the band’s beginning. On the other hand, Murphy says he’s been actively working to make timeless-sounding records since their distortion-contorted debut Smeared. Although their next record, 1994’s dramatically more mature and nowbeloved Twice Removed, first laid down the blueprint for their sound — cheerful power pop tinged with jangly psychedelia — they still hadn’t committed to the one-for-all thing. “When we made that record, I thought: ‘What the (hell) are you doing? We made this record, it got us on a major label, and now you’re making a completely different record?”’ Pentland recalls. Finally with 1996’s One Chord to Another, the band achieved egoless equality. Pentland even gave the band its first two Top 10 singles in The Good in Everyone and Everything You’ve Done Wrong.
Sloan’s last full-length, 2011’s punchy The Double Cross, was critically celebrated by critics in the U.S. and did better there than some of their past records.
Still, Murphy points out, “It’s hard to compete with the nostalgia people have for the songs that came out in university or whenever they were in love with life or whatever,” says Murphy. “I think the music that we’re making is just as good, but it would be naive to think it’s going to have the same kind of effect on people.”