The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 16, 1997- 9
.Sloan strikes chord in U.S.
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One Chord To Another
A band like Sloan is hard to come by.
Not many bands can jump from sound
. to sound and make it seem so incredibly
":coherent, but Sloan does just that on its
: third long-player, "One Chord To
Possibly the best band you've almost
never heard of in the United States,
Sloan is a virtual superstar in the land to
our north. "One Chord To Another" was
released . about six months ago in
Canada, and it has consistently been
near the top of the Canadian charts.
ow it's our turn.
The album begins with the pop-
punky "The Good In Everyone" a song
so catchy that it sends shivers down the
spine for its two-minute duration. Then,
Sloan launches straight into "Nothing
Left To Make Me Want To Stay," a
slightly slower tune that's just as beauti-
ful as the first.
The Beatle-esque "Autobiography"
showcases the Sloan lyrical bend: sub-
.tle humor and play on words, to make
the song all that more intricate. Other
songs recall familiar sounds, like the
Beach Boy harmony of "Junior
'anthers," the Rolling Stones-flavored
guitar in "Take The Bench" and the
Police's "Roxanne" riff in "Can't Face
One reason why "One Chord To
Another" is so incredible is that it tra-
verses the complete realm of Sloan's
ssibilities. No two songs sound the
same, and although there is a familiar
'60s pop feel to the entire recording,
something sticks out as fresh and new.
What's always struck me about Sloan
has been its lack of pretentiousness and
its ability to experiment with new
sounds, whether it be a piano on "A
Side Wins;" or a trumpet on
"Everything You've Done
Fans of "Twice
last album, will be -
both pleased and dis- -
looking for the same
pop of "Twice Removed"
won't find it in "One Chord
To Another," but Sloan fans who
appreciate the subtler intricacies of the
band will be thrilled with the genuine
feel to the new album.
It ain't punk, and it ain't Britpop, but
"One Chord To Another" could be the
most diverse and engaging record of the
- Colin Bartos
xnay On The Hombre
I was just about ready to give up on
The Offspring. After "Smash," my vote
for one of the worst albums of the '90s,
I was pretty much delusional. 1992's
"Ignition" had been a fireball of hyper-
SoCal punk that could jumpstart any
engine. Then came "Smash," which, like
any other 8-million-copy-selling record,
sucked so incredibly bad that I swore I
could never listen to another song by the
annoying whiny vocalist who
told me to "keep 'em sepa-
rated" and that he had no
All I could hope
was that "Ixnay On
The Hombre" would
be more like
less of those stupid
guitars and arena-rock
anthemic choruses. My wishes came
true. Although not as straight-ahead blis-
tering and raw as "Ignition," "Ixnay On
The Hombre" is a solid effort that stands
to reaffirm my faith in the band.
The album starts out with a little spo-
ken piece by legendary Dead
Kennedys' frontman Jello Biafra. "The
Meaning Of Life" follows, and it sums
up The Offspring doctrine: Be your own
person. Dexter Holland sings "Open
wide and they'll shove in their meaning
of life / But not for me, I'll do it on my
own" to a Speedy Gonzales-like pace.
The first single, "All I Want," is one
of the best tracks on the disc, and prob-
ably the closest thing to "Ignition" on
"Ixnay" The second single, "Gone
Away," however, is a slow tune that is
uncharacteristic of the disc, and doesn't
work too well. After everyone else has
at least made some feeble attempt at ska
music, the Offspring follow suit with
the funny and fluid "Don't Pick It Up,"
and it actually works. The Southwest-
flavored "I Choose" and the off-beat
"Me & My Old Lady" are both new for-
ays for the band, and give "Ixnay" a
new feel that shows that the band isn't
just trying to recreate "Smash."
Holland still has a flair for playing
the character, too. "Mota" pits Holland
as a pothead loser who does nothing
with his life, and in "Cool To Hate,"
Holland is one of those self-righteous
people who hates everyone and every-
thing and is only happy being miser-
Overall, "Ixnay On The Hombre" is a
solid effort. Obviously, The Offspring
has sold out twice already (selling 8
million albums and moving to major
label Columbia), but it still has retained
enough of its talent to create an inter-
esting record. "Ixnay" shows that The
Offspring is no longer a one-dimen-
sional punk group. The band looks to
show the world it has more in store for
Sloan's "One Chord To Another" could be the most diverse and engaging record of the year.
BOOK, MUSIC AND LYRtC||
BY MEREDITH WILLSO7
TICKETS ARE $14 ||
CHARGE BY PHONE:
STUDENT SEATING IS
$5 WITH ID
LEAGUE TICKET OFFICE
Special ticketed rehearsal performance TONIGHT only!
All other performances are SOLD OUT!
The Offspring makes a solid effort on Its latest album, "Ixnay On The Hombre." - Colin Bartos
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