Sloan: I raise my glass to the B-side.

There's no such thing as an uncool Sloan fan. Despite the fact that this Halifax quartet is credited with one of the single most self-referencial rock lyrics, "It's not the band I hate, it's their fans", it does not apply to them. You'll find that most Sloan fans have a quiet dignity about them, and can truly appreciate witty lyrics and subtle political references. And there isn't a hipster alive who doesn't adore the self-depricating irony that has been morphed into stoic confidence and creative genius in the four boys that make up Sloan.

Sloan is Chris Murphy, Andrew Scott, Patrick Pentland, and Jay Ferguson. They became Sloan in 1992 when Halifax became a Canadian "Seattle", pumping out some kick ass grunge-pseudo-pop inspired tunes like those belonging to Eric's Trip, Thrush Hermit, and The Super Friendz. Their first full-length album is the celebrated 'Smeared' featuring the sardonic anthem 'Underwhelmed' that can really give 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' a run for it's money. As well as 'I Am the Cancer', which is equally wonderful in its mid-90s disonant drone we call music.

True success came in 1994 with the release of their second album Twice Removed. This album changed my life. Featuring tracks like 'I Hate My Generation' and 'Bells On' which remarks "If you had a funeral, I'd be there with bells on. La la la la", this album is a perfect creation of fabulous songs. As a whole, it is one of the most effective and solid albums out there. I can't even express in words how brilliant it is, and it makes me sad to know that it just isn't as recognized as it should be. It is definitely in my top 5 albums of all time, and I'm not alone on this one. Spin Magaize named it one of the "Best Albums You Didn't Hear" in 1994, and that's as true today as it was then.

Since their plaid-wearing-fan-days of the mid to late 90s, Sloan has managed to maintain its Canadian fame with moderate American glory. It is their longevity that is truly admirable. Longevity isn't something that usually sticks to Canadian artists, or at least not the majority of them who don't sell their souls to American citizenship (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when it pays the bills). Sloan has also managed to retain their association with indie pop rock... although, generally speaking, since the Canadian music scene is so tiny compared to the States, most artists, even though on a major label, appear as truly 'indie'. Sloan was indie at first, truly. They released their first EP, Peppermint, on their own label called Murderecords. And now they've got their own Best Of album. How do you like that? Claps for Canadians.

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