Sloan Action Pact

[Vik; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: indie rock, indie pop
Others: The Constantines, The Beatles

Before I begin to review this album I want to make one thing clear; I am a Sloan fan. And by fan I mean that I personally own every record of theirs since their smash 1992 debut Smeared. I have been through all of the label changes, all of the ups and downs of their supposed break-up, and I have seen them grow from Geffen record indie rockers to independent, self-releasing pop moguls. I can even go as far as saying that Sloan has accompanied many good trials of my own personal life. All of my children were born shortly after each album release since 1996, meaning that I was grateful to share my joyful moments with the band. One of the first song lyrics that my son ever learned were the words of “C’mon C’mon” off their stellar 1998 release Navy Blues. So I can continue to bore you with my life or get to the point; I will be attempting to be fair and unbiased about this review! Wish me luck!

Sloan’s Action Pact is their sixth original full-length album since 1992. And since then, Sloan has always kept their single most important formula to their music at the forefront of each record. They have been crowned the kings of Canadian indie rock and roll (by myself and many others) and Action Pact proves that over and over again. Taking elements from each consecutive record, Sloan has created another upbeat, groovy record with the same basic elements that have made them so famous in Canada. The only regression that is evident on the record is their lack of progression. But for Sloan, progression has not been evident since the days of Navy Blues. Don’t get me wrong, their other releases were extremely good but could be considered a reoccurring repertoire. But before you pass off on Action Pact you must know how the boys from Sloan work. Each release is aimed at the core of their fans (including me). I don’t know too many Sloan fans that don’t have all of their records in their collection. I’ve never heard anyone say these words out loud: “Yeah Sloan, they're okay!” For Sloan and their records, it seems to become a black and white issue after each progressive release. You either love them or hate them, and Action Pact follows in the same tradition. You will love it or hate it and those are the only two options that Sloan wants you to have when you listen to the album.

I have made my decision and I will continue to love Sloan and their new album. Its up to you the readers whether you wish to dive in and discover that you either love or hate Sloan. But beware; once you love one record, you will soon determine that you must own their entire collection. And that is exactly what Sloan wants you to do.

1. Gimme that
2. Live on
3. Backstabbin'
4. The rest of my life
5. False alarm
6. Nothing lasts forever anymore
7. Hollow head
8. Ready for you
9. I was wrong
10. Who loves life more
11. Reach out
12. Fade away