Cover of Sloan's "One Chord to Another" abum
Sloan was formed in 1991 when Chris Murphy (bass, vocals) and Andrew Scott (drums) met at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax. Patrick Pentland (guitar) and Jay Ferguson (guitar) joined soon afterwards. In 1992, the band formed their own record label, Murderecords, and released their debut EP, “Peppermint”. The band signed with Geffen Records, who released “Smeared” later that year. Geffen did not promote their second album, “Twice Removed” (1994), due to concerns that it was too melodic in the era of grunge. In spite of the lack of promotion, the album did well in Canada. The band split with Geffen, and rumors surfaced that Sloan had disbanded. Instead, they resurfaced with “One Chord to Another” (1996), released on their Murderecords imprint. The first single from this album was “The Good in Everyone” b/w “Everything You’ve Done Wrong”. This is today’s featured single. “The Good in Everyone” is a good example of the tour de force of hooks and melodies found on “One Chord to Another”. Beginning and ending with a fake live setting, the song is driven by a punk-inspired riff that makes the song sound like British Invasion pop filtered through a grunge-era prism. In fact the distortion makes it sound like a quintessentially 1990s track, even as the song has the general feel of a classic power pop song. There are only two verses, sung by Patrick Pentland, and it would probably be futile to look for multiple layers of meaning here: “First off/Here’s what you do to me/You get rough/Attack my self-esteem”. Nevertheless, the song delivers a powerful punch in a short time, clocking in at just over two minutes. As one fan observed, they out-Beatled Oasis on this track. The second track on this single, “Everything You’ve Done Wrong”, is one of the better tracks from “One Chord to Another”, and was good enough to justify release as the second single from the album. Anchored by a catchy melody and fluid lyrics (“Do your time, to pay the price/For every thing you’ve done wrong, baby/In your life, you get so high/There’s nowhere left to go but down”), the song is also accentuated by a horn section that suggests that Sloan was moving away from their punk/grunge roots and towards melodic pop. In any case, “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” is one of the band’s more memorable songs, and also one of their most successful ones, reaching #6 on Canada’s RPM Singles Chart. This single was released on Murderecords in early 1997. Subsequently, Sloan would release their fourth studio album, “Navy Blues” (1998), in which they further refined their sound, and the live album “4 Nights at the Palais Royale” (1999). The studio albums “Between the Bridges” (1999) and “Pretty Together” (2001) followed. Sloan made a concerted effort to break into the U.S. market on their next studio album, “Action Pact” (2003); the album failed to raise the group’s profile in the U.S., though the band remained popular in Canada. The band signed with Yep Roc Records for “Never Hear the End of It” (2006); their next album, “Parallel Play” (2008) was released on their own Murderecords imprint. When Sloan added a digital music store to their website in 2009, they released “Hit & Run”, an EP released through their website, to promote it. The band signed with Outside Music for their tenth studio album, “The Double Cross” (2011).