Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sloan to the rescue!

I was stuck in nasty traffic tonight due to a surprise snowstorm in Portland, and so took the opportunity to listen to a couple of new albums I hadn't heard yet.

First up was the Twilight Sad, Forget the Night Ahead. Droning and depressing, perfect for a cold and snowy night, but hard to take.

Then, I thought I'd try Fast 'n' Bulbous: The Captain Beefheart Project's Waxed Oop, a collection of instrumental versions of Captain Beefheart tracks across the years. Led by guitar player extraordinaire Gary Lucas, I was excited to hear this, but on playing, found it a bit uninspired. The highlight was a guest vocal appearance by Robyn Hitchcock on one track.

Lastly, I put on a five-track EP by Canadian band Sloan (no relation), Hit & Run, and suddenly everything was going to be alright.

I've been following Sloan since 1992, when their charming major label single "Underwhelmed" caught my attention during the height of the grunge movement. They've been turning out one fantastic album after another ever since, and while most bands start to run into creative lulls after 17 years, these guys just get better and better.

This EP is fantastic and is as good a place to start exploring their catalog as any. Super catchy melodies, wonderful vocal harmonies. Currently only available on their website as a download, but you can stream the whole thing and listen to it on your computer without purchase, as a "try before you buy" deal.

Looking forward to the next full length! (And hoping for an early thaw tomorrow.)

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