Home > Bargain > Sloan – Smeared

Sloan – Smeared

Murderecords, 1993sloan

Although there are many bands that I’ve heard throughout these years of endless musical experimentation, there will always be bands that I’ll never get to.  The same thing goes for countries, chores, and compliments.  Of those bands, there is the subgroup that consist of the veteran artists that set you up for a ‘You’ve never heard them?!’ exclamation from a friend or trendster if you willingly admit your ignorance.  Well, Sloan is one of those bands for me.  Until I picked up this album I had only heard their name in passing because they had put out eleven albums and EPs in the nineties alone.  How could you not have heard of them?  I totally knew who they were, yet I might’ve accidentally pegged them as hard rock since I didn’t take the time to dig deeper.  Up to a few years ago I redeemed myself (to myself) by picking this record up.

What I like about this album is that it begins well with a strong trio of rock numbers that are catchy but do so in a style that doesn’t sound like they’re trying too hard to get your attention.  I really like the vocals from Chris Murphy on this record, but not because they’re anything special.  Instead, they blend with the music so well that they are neither irritating nor full of bravado that tends to sink whatever the musicians put together.  Even the background vocals from the other guys in the band harmonize well, so with the the consistent pop rock that goes from the opener of “Underwhelmed” to the excellent “500 Up,” there isn’t too much to complain about on this record.

You’ve got a few choices to hear some Sloan, like on MySpace, their website, or wherever else you want to look.

Despite some grumblings from some music people on the web, I must say that this record couldn’t have disappointed too many when it arrived in stores way back in the early 90s.  It doesn’t get trapped with the grunge movement of the time, nor does it lean on instruments and style that risked dating itself.  Truth is, aside from a little less fuzziness of the vocals and the more polished sound, Sloan hasn’t changed all that much in the sixteen years that they’ve been on and off again.  The Canadians have to be thrilled these guys are still putting out fun, foot-tapping music that will likely always pick up a mood.

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