Swooning Over Sloan

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 4, 2009 5:20PM

2009_12_sloan.jpg Sloan is one of the most consistent bands in the history of rock and/or roll and the recently released Hit & Run EP continues their 18 year streak of excellence. Seriously, how is a band this good and not filling stadiums? Their blend of anthemic power-pop / classic rock melded with Beatles harmonies and the occasional punk outburst is undeniably intoxicating. And their stage shows? Member bounce from instrument to instrument, trading off lead vocals from song to song, all the time proving the fact through blood, sweat and spit that their is not a weak cog within their fantastic musical machine.

The new EP is a concise, precise collection of excellent pop songs opening with the jaunty single "Take It Upon Yourself" featuring a slightly rawer production vibe than other recent work. The vibe hearkens more closely to Sloan's One Chord To Another era, albeit with more bottom still in place. The tender "Midnight Mass" follows, reading like a long-lost Nilsson nugget discovered by musical archeologists at the bottom of a bottle uncovered at the site of "The Lost Weekend." This is followed by the slightly spacey "It Is Never," that floats along until an explosion of freak-out percussion 3/4 of the way through, setting us up perfectly for the jagged new-wave punk of "Where Are You Now?" which sneers it's way through the speakers. Now that we're all wound up, "Dear Diary" takes us through to the end of the album with a gently sliding vocal melody that veers off just enough on the unexpected side to keep what could be a saccharine delivery on the sharp side. And then, 13 minutes from where we started, it's all over, leaving us wanting more, but also content in what we have.

Sloan is doing a short tour behind the EPs release and they play Chicago on Monday, December 7 at Lincoln Hall. Sloan live is NOT to be missed, and Sloan live in the intimate and fantastic sounding Lincoln Hall is sure to leave many a familiar fan delirious and any new participant reeling from what they've just seen.

Sloan play December 7 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln, 7p.m., $20, all ages