Sloan were one of the most successful Canadian bands of the '90s, which was both a blessing and a curse. While they were well known in their homeland, where their Beatlesque power pop became a radio staple, they had a difficult time breaking into the American market, especially after their label, DGC, decided not to market their hooky pop in the wake of grunge. After spending several years fighting the label, and nearly breaking up, Sloan re-emerged in 1996 with One Chord to Another, a record that became an instant success in Canada and a critical sensation in the U.S. upon its American release in 1997, establishing the group as one of the leaders of the new wave of power pop groups in the late '90s.
Andrew Scott (drums), Chris Murphy (bass, vocals), Patrick Pentland (guitar, vocals), and Jay Ferguson (guitar, vocals) formed Sloan in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1991. Within a few months, their feedback-laden live shows had gained a sizable audience. By the end of the year, their first recording, "Underwhelmed," appeared on the local Halifax compilation Hear and Now. Early in 1992, they released the Peppermint EP on their own Murderecords, and by the summer, they had signed with DGC. Sloan's debut album, Smeared, appeared in October in Canada. For their second album, 1994's Twice Removed, Sloan simplified their sound considerably, concentrating on melodic, hook-laden power pop. Sloan re-emerged in the summer of 1995, playing a handful of concerts and releasing a single, "Same Old Flame," on Murderecords. That winter they recorded the aforementioned One Chord to Another, a record which expanded the power pop approach of Twice Removed on a small budget. Although its origins were modest, the album was a huge Canadian hit upon its June 1996 release. Navy Blues followed a year later. A double live album, 4 Nights at the Palais Royale was released by Murderecords in 1999, as was a new studio effort, Between the Bridges. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine