Sloan: Power-Pop Gets Accessible and Ambitious

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Sloan

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Blending Beatles-style pop with hooky guitar-rock and a great ear for melody, the Nova Scotia band Sloan has spent 15 years at or near the forefront of an ongoing power-pop revival.

A quirky blend of Sonic Youth-esque guitar noise and classic pop, Sloan's 1993 debut (Smeared) was a hit in Canada, paving the way for the pure pop of the following year's Twice Removed. But while the group was a huge success at home, its sound didn't mesh with the grittier, noisier rock of its peers in the U.S. After splitting from its label, Sloan settled into a familiar pattern of releasing albums to major success in Canada, but only cult attention below the border.

The recent Never Hear the End of It, Sloan's first album since 2003's Action Pact, represents a major leap forward for the band: Composed of 30 tracks, the disc follows a winding road that brings to mind everything from Abbey Road to Todd Rundgren to The Velvet Underground. Both accessible and inherently ambitious, it finds Sloan continuing to evolve well into its second decade.

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