Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sloan-Mania! - Show # 129

This week I did a show devoted entirely to the band Sloan. Why? Well one reason is because Sloan is an awesome rock band, the other is simple. Sloan is playing a concert at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit this Saturday, January 20th. I played at least one song from every Sloan album and one rare track.

Sloan formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1991. Jay Ferguson and Chris Murphy initially played in a local band that was called Kearney Lake Rd. The other members (Patrick Pentland, and Andrew Scott) met and came together while at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design. In 1992 Sloan recorded the Peppermint EP. It contained six songs one of which was "Underwhelmed" a song that would be a Canadian hit when re-recorded for their first full length album Smeared; it was also released on their own label, Murder Records. Smeared was released in 1992/1993, it was a very grunge-sounding album. It sounded very much like indie grunge bands such as Sonic Youth, but it also showed their pop Beatles-ish side. On my show I played "Take it In" and " Two Seater" from Smeared.

Next came what many people called at the time one of the greatest Canadian albums ever recorded, Twice Removed. This album was a different sounding record than its predecessor, it was not as grungy, it was more pop and indie sounding. The album featured songs like "Coax Me", " People of the Sky", and "Shame, Shame". These last two were played on my show this week. During this time Sloan was signed to DCG, Geffen Records. The label poorly promoted the band in the United States, the band did very well on the Canadian Market,but the US market was not promoted well by the label. Around this time Sloan took a break, and considered splitting up. During this time the band also pursued side projects, but decided to come back together and recorded 1996's One Chord To Another. The band switched label's, they signed to a division of EMI Records.

1996's One Chord To Another was a huge success in Canada, and the US when it was released there in 1997. This album was a dramatic jump in terms of musical ability by the band and remains one of their, if not their best albums to date. Also import version of this album came with a 10 track bonus disc titled Live At A Sloan Party. The disc featured two Sloan tracks and the rest were cover songs ranging from bands like Roxy Music, and Jonathan Richman, to the Everly Brothers. After this 1998's Navy Blues was recorded and released. The album was yet another expansion upon their Beatles-ish sound from One Chord To Another. It also featured the song "Money City Maniacs" which was a huge hit for the band. It was an album that is equally as great as One Chord To Another.

Next, came a double live album 4 Nights at the Palais Royale, and the album Between the Bridges. Between the Bridges was a more of a experimental record, it was very poppy, but more like retro pop songs. after this album came 2001's Pretty Together. This album featured the song "If It Feels Good Do It", a great rock song, that is very AC/DC-ish. The rest of the album was a mix of melodic songs, but it was different than their previous albums.

2003 saw the release of Action Pact. An album where Sloan attempted to make all rock songs. The album is the only album that did not feature any songs written by drummer Andrew Scott. All members of the band write and sing their songs (as The Beatles did), just not all the time. The majority of the songs come from guitarist Patrick Pentland and Bassist Chris Murphy. The album is not bad, but definitely not one of Sloan's best albums. In 2005 a greatest hits compilation was released titled A Sides Win. It featured two new songs "All Used Up' a distorted rocker, and "Try To Make It" a rock song with Irish sounding synthesizer parts.

Never Hear The End of It, was released in 2006. it features 30 tracks some not even being one minute long. It is another Beatles-ish album but also contains great rock songs. It features songs from every Sloan band member including Guitarist Jay Ferguson, who didn't have a single since 1996; the single from this album was "Who Taught You To Live Like That". "HFXNSHC" is another song I'd like to mention, it is a fast punk song and almost a hardcore song. It is about the Halifax, Nova Scotia Hardcore scene, and is not longer a minute and a half.

Sloan Play List:

1. underwhelmed (Peppermint EP 1992)
2. take it in (Smeared 1992)
3. two seater (Smeared 1992)
4. People of the sky (Twice Removed 1994)
5. Shame, Shame (Twice Removed 1994)
6. the good in everyone (One Chord To Another 1996)
7. autobiography (One Chord To Another 1996)
8. G turns to D (One Chord To Another 1996)
9. Can’t face up (One Chord To Another 1996)
10. dignified and old (Live at a Sloan Party 1996)
11. she says what she means (Navy Blues 1998)
12. money city maniacs (Navy Blues 1998)
13. sinkin’ ships (Navy Blues 1998)
14. on the horizon (Navy Blues 1998)
15. sensory deprivation (Between the Bridges 1999)
16. take care of the poor boy (Between the Bridges 1999)
17. if it feels good do it (Pretty Together 2001)
18. never seeing the ground for the sky (Pretty Together 2001)
19. ready for you (Action Pact 2003)
20. I was wrong (Action Pact 2003)
21. all used up (A Sides Win 2005)
22. living with the masses (Never Hear The End of It 2006)
23. HFXNSHC (Never Hear The End of It 2006)

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