It’s official. No longer will I be able to assume that good old-fashioned “Rock 'n' Roll” is dead and gone; instead, I’ll have to open my eyes to the possibility that it merely hid underground for a while only to rear its head up in Nova Scotia, managing to sprout up and cast off a righteous seedling named Sloan.
Sloan’s new album, entitled Never Hear The End Of It, is definitive proof.
Comprised of 30 — yes, 30 — tracks, this album is quite simply one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. In fact, there is only one complaint that I can find myself coming up with in regards to the album – and that is that it is too short.
Clocking in at anywhere from fifty-two seconds to five minutes and twenty-eight seconds, the songs are, amazingly enough, all beautiful and interesting as hell. There isn’t a single song that I forward past.
Granted, when a song has a playing length of only fifty-two seconds, you might not have much time to process it in order to reject it and get up to change the… see! The song is already over by the time all of that passes. Luckily that particular song in question, “I can’t sleep,” is fast paced and one of the highlights on the record.
You heard me; at under a minute in length it still manages to outshine other tracks.
Sitting there and reading this, you might wonder how an album can ever hope to “work” if it is composed of so many pieces that seem to flow endlessly by your eardrums. Well, you have a valid concern, really.
When I first looked at the amount of tracks on the album I had no idea how Sloan could pull it off. The last band I trusted to have that kind of endurance and speed were the Ramones. But, work it does. “Never Hear The End of It” manages to sound both unified and gloriously jumbled.
It’s as if Sloan gave a good thousand listens to the Beatles’ Abbey Road and then thought of how amazing the Fab-Four sounded when mashing little ethereal song ideas all together in one solid block of music. Oddly enough, as Sloan puts forth some amazingly lovely vocal and guitar harmonies on this album, the reference to the Beatles might not be all that far fetched.
Trust me, it all works.
From the simple backbeat of the opening track, “Flying High Again,” down to the great guitar swaggered groove of “Another Way I Could Do It,” this album amply served me my daily allowance of musicianship, talent, songwriting, harmony, and ambition — that’s right, ambition.
Sloan seems to be searching and reaching for something on this album. Sitting here and listening to the fruits of their labor, I find that all I can do is sit here and congratulate them on this record.
I love it, I find myself listening to it at least twice a day, and it will eventually cause me to hunt down every single thing this band has ever released. For those thinking I’m tooting their horn a bit too much — look, I realize that Sloan didn’t invent the wheel here.
I’m just grateful that they have shown, on this album at least, that they are very capable of taking it for a proper spin.