Sloan, The Double Cross

Bob Small

By Bob Small

on 04.19.11 in Reviews
Illustrating just how timeless power pop really is

An album that feels like a greatest hits compilation, The Double Cross illustrates just how timeless power pop really is: It's barely changed since the '70s, a male-dominated rock sub-genre driven by keening vocals, addictive hand-claps and jangling electric guitars. Canadian quartet Sloan is synonymous with this sound — the kind of band you can lose track of for several years and then rediscover, only to find them right where you left them. That's not a backhanded compliment; they've just dug deep into a niche. So huzzah, then, for the rat-a-tatting first four songs of Cross, which seem designed to win the heart of every Old 97's and Go-Betweens fan in North America. The album gets spottier after that — it slows to a crawl with the aptly titled "She's Slowing Down Again" — but "Green Gardens, Cold Montreal" is a ballad Richard Thompson wishes he'd written, and "I've Gotta Know" is, in 82 seconds, power-pop's answer to Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold."