Still Feel­ing Good

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - CAM LIND­SAY

Sloan 12

In their 27 years as a band, Sloan have steadily re­leased new al­bums — and some are bet­ter than oth­ers — but their over­all con­tri­bu­tion is greater than they of­ten get credit for. Since the mil­len­nium hit, they’ve in­ex­pli­ca­bly be­come un­der­dogs, or even a cult band, in their home coun­try. This 12th stu­dio al­bum is just the one to spark a reap­praisal of their cat­a­logue. Fol­low­ing the novel con­cept of 2014’s Commonwealth, 12 is ar­guably the most well-rounded al­bum they’ve made since 1999’s un­der­rated Be­tween the Bridges. Each of the band’s four song­writ­ers has three cuts each — a trait they’re fre­quently cel­e­brated for — how­ever, these songs just seem to sparkle brighter and gel to­gether bet­ter than the Sloan al­bums from this cen­tury. Lead track and sin­gle “Spin Our Wheels” is a text­book ra­dio-friendly rocker fea­tur­ing a soar­ing cho­rus by Chris Mur­phy, who re­turns later on for the san­guine, self-ref­er­enc­ing “Don’t Stop (If It Feels Good Do It).” Pa­trick Pent­land un­abashedly throws back to the band’s early days, chan­nelling Smeared’s over­drive-happy gui­tars on “The Day Will Be Mine” and even Nir­vana on “All of the Voices.” Mean­while, Jay Fer­gu­son presents a tri­fecta of per­fect, ’60s soft pop homage, and Andrew Scott is in full Dy­lan-es­que mode. 12 is a solid re­minder that they’ve been pretty to­gether all these years, as well as an ideal start­ing point should you feel like re­vis­it­ing al­bums you missed. (Mur­dere­cords/Univer­sal)

All four mem­bers have con­trib­uted equally for 27 years. Is that some­thing you take to heart?

Pent­land: By virtue of the fact that it’s hard to keep a band to­gether, let alone a band of four song­writ­ers to­gether, I guess that can be seen as an achieve­ment, sure. I don’t know of too many bands that have all the orig­i­nal mem­bers 20-some­thing years into their ca­reer.

In terms of writ­ing, what’s ex­pected from each of you?

We don’t all do the same thing. I would love to sit down and say, “Hey, let’s do an all-acous­tic record” or “Let’s do an all-synth record,” but we don’t do that. It’s kind of up to the in­di­vid­ual what he will bring to the ta­ble. Maybe we were just more in­ter­ested in mak­ing an al­bum that we could per­form live.

ROCK

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