Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sloan

  • Smeared [Geffen, 1993] B+
  • Twice Removed [DGC, 1994] B+
  • One Chord to Another [The Enclave, 1997] Dud
  • Navy Blues [Murderecords, 1998] Choice Cuts
  • Between the Bridges [Murderecords, 1999] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Smeared [Geffen, 1993]
As Nova Scotian as lox and bagels, it's orthodox North American neohip. The specifics of the Halifax "scene" are irrelevant; dissonant, guitar-decentered pop has become the province of anyone within reach of a culturally correct college radio station--anyone "Left of Centre," a title that refers in so many words to "pop culture" rather than politics. The most meaningful song is the opener, about a cool coed whose grade average is higher than the singer's even though "her spelling's atrocious." Everywhere else, the ugly beauty of the guitars sustains. B+

Twice Removed [DGC, 1994]
Their popward shift doesn't change their specific gravity because they're all surface either way. Where before their noise was an intrinsically intriguing sonic signpost sweetened by their tunes, now their tunes gain savor from their noise. Talented boys, absolutely, often with something thoughtful to say about feelings the average college graduate has already thought through, and since I've got nothing against surfaces, I look forward to their romantic maturity. I also advise the Algerian and Norwegian pen pals they crib from to demand points. B+

One Chord to Another [The Enclave, 1997] Dud

Navy Blues [Murderecords, 1998]
"C'Mon C'Mon (Gonna Get It Started)" Choice Cuts

Between the Bridges [Murderecords, 1999] Neither