The Commonwealth

A new Sloan disc is usually met with excitement, then puzzlement, then after a few years, enjoyment. This one right off the hop is an intriguing concept - each of the four members (who always take turns at the mic) get one side of a double LP. The opening five tracks from guitarist Jay Ferguson are among the best, with “Cleopatra” hosting clever wordplay and harmonies, while bassist Chris Murphy’s set is almost forgettable, save for a lyric or two. Guitarist Patrick Pentland wants to rock, with “13” leading the pack, but his voice is rarely strong enough to work alongside punk riffs. The fourth side belongs to drummer Andrew Scott and it’s an epic piece in the vein of Abbey Road’s closer. Brave, fumbling, diverse and inventive, it reminds you of the first few Sloan discs.

Published in Volume 69, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2014)

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