Canada’s best power pop band Sloan returns with a new album on their twentieth anniversary appropriately titled The Double Cross. This time the Halifax quartet brings out every bag of tricks and stylistic varieties to make this a winning album.
The band’s energy and solid melodies sound as fresh as ever with the opener, “Follow The Leader,” as it plays off of thick organ chords, a heavy bass line and impeccable harmonies. Then we seamlessly transition to the sunny “The Answer Was You.” It’s an instant classic, punctuated by a richly orchestrated chorus and shimmering tambourine. The great thing here is the band’s ability to weave a hook that sticks in your head and won’t let go. “Unkind” is a perfect example, and like the Raspberries with a modern spin, it exemplifies what makes modern power pop so enjoyable.
The Beatlesque jangle and sensibilities are visible in the fast-paced gems “Shadow Of Lobe” and “It’s Plain To See.” Then “She’s Going Down Again” invites comparison to the Turtles’ classics of yesterday. With its folk-pop stirrings, “Green Gardens, Cold Montreal” is a wonderful throwback to Canadian classics like Chilliwack’s “Baby Blue.” Sloan has incorporated all these influences into a style that uniquely suits them, and doesn’t linger on one style (although the classic ’60’s-’70’s era looms large) and can appear like a big, fat mix tape of favorites when all is said and done.
Overall I highly recommend this album, and we can only hope Sloan continues along its merry, melodic way.