Saturday, April 7, 2018


Canadian rock's most enduring democracy soldiers on, proving a good band is worth nurturing. Album 12 sees the group rules firmly entrenched: Four writers, each getting equal treatment if they desire, each creating their own tracks, with or without help from the others as requested or required. Oddly, while that should lead to a fractured collection at best, instead this has to be the most cohesive album the group has ever made. I don't know that anybody put out the word to make a pop album, but 12 is, start to finish, hooks and harmonies and catchy moments galore.

Chris Murphy kicks things off with the song that rocks the most, Spin Our Wheels, although All Of Our Voices is guitar-edged as well. After that, it's a cavalcade of fun. Andrew's Gone For Good has CSN vocals, whereas Essential Services sounds more '70's British, piano and cheery harmonies. Don't Stop (If It Feels Good Do It) is a brilliant celebration of that cliche, with an insane chorus. Every song is clean, crisp, sharp, and features some of the best guitar playing they (all of them) have done. Usually you go through a Sloan album thinking Jay's songs are this and Patrick's that, but on 12, you get 12 potential hit singles. I know there are lots of different opinions of what the best Sloan sound is, favourite eras and such, but for me, this is the group's pinnacle.

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