| Action Pact
A jade jett review
eh! That's what I say to all you hosers who think us Canadians
a bunch of beer and maple syrup swilling, beaver swaddled, zamboni
driving, igloo dwelling peaceniks. And while there are far too
many Canadian stereotypes to list in a 500-word review, I respectfully
submit the band Sloan to the lexicon of all things reeking of
The Great White North.
boasts an impressive range of musical talent: Danko Jones, The
Tragically Hip, Peaches, Rufus Wainwright, Broken Social Scene,
The Constantines as well as international MOR chart-toppers such
as Celine, Alanis, Avril, Shania and Bryan. And who can forget
old-school rockers such as Loverboy, The Guess Who, BTO, Neil
Young, and Rush? Yet no one rocks harder than Sloan, the poster
boys for the consummate Canuck band, breeding rabid worship from
their adoring fan-base. If you're not familiar with the name,
you might have caught a listen to their infectious sugar tunes
sprinkled liberally throughout the movie, The Virgin Suicides.
Need I say more? Anyone who's checked out Lost
in Translation knows that Sophia Coppola is one of the
hottest film directors of the new millenium. Hand-picking Sloan
as the musical backdrop for her first full-length feature is a
testament to their talent (and hers).
songs in 39 minutes assures the album's deserving play-on-words
title, "Action Pact" (they have made a pact and it's
packed!)! It's a completely Canadian album recorded in a unabashedly
American setting: Los Angeles; a paradise both lost and found.
Home to The Beach Boys and Motley Crue, wheatgrass and silicon,
Walt Disney and Charles Manson; where the rich and famous glide
and collide up against lost angels on the boulevard of broken
dreams. This irony is not lost on the Sloan boys who share a distinct
affinity with these dualities. Originally hailing from Halifax,
Nova Scotia, the Toronto-based foursome vacillate from churning
out light pop confections as well as teeth-rattling monster rock
tracks, both equally impressive in their respective capacities.
the first note off the opening track, "Gimme That,"
heavy guitars and flawless harmonies make up that irresistibly
distinctive yet timeless Sloan sound: a delightful blend of straight-ahead
late 60's early/70's pop rock married with a British invasion
vibe and Beach Boys background vocals. "Backstabbin'"
boasts an AC/DC intro coupled with Kiss chants and a glammy chicks
with dicks sentiment that proudly raises its middle finger with
a hellraisin' sneer.
first single, "The Rest of My Life" slaps a Turtles
"Happy Together" vibe up against a Beatles "Got
To Get You Into My Life" groove, marrying gorgeous uplifting
vocals with a late sixties style. And when they state with proud
patriotism, "One thing I know about the rest of my life,
I know that I'll be living it in Canada," the irony of recording
this song in the U.S. brings home Sloan's natural affinity for
off to a band that can borrow from the influences listed above
while mixing it up with artists as diverse as Foreigner, The Ramones,
early Eagles, New Order, Roxy Music, The Psychedelic Furs, Grand
Funk Railroad and The Monkees while sounding completely like themselves.
Definitely worth a turn on the tables. If you're not convinced
that you should pick up their whole back catalogue, it's aboot
time you were properly introduced. I strongly urge you to get
your mitts on a copy of Navy Blues and Twice Removed as well.
Now take off.