(I’m going to do something very very bad. I’m going to compare a band to the Strokes. I do this only to promote them, cos they rock.)
Growing up in a ass-backwards place like Buffalo, we were privileged to get Toronto radio stations, especially cfny 102.1 the edge. We heard things like Blur, Morrissey, Nirvana and others before MTV or the corporate stateside stations picked them up. We were fortunate.
Also, from time to time, someone would go and compare Toronto to New York, as if somehow there is a fucking comparison. But, in a way, I think the differences between these two cities are emblematic of the cultural differences between the US and Canada. Toronto is very 20th century, the people are nice, and harmony abounds. New York is very turn-of-the-century, at best the people aren’t naively nice, and a city this big is about as fractious as dropping a rose dipped in nitrogen.
If we extend the cultural dichotomy to include music, one could hardly find a better modern example of New York Rock n’ Roll than the Strokes— frantic as a mid-town cab ride, insolent as hell, easy to look at, and yet, utterly brilliant song-writers and performers.
I’d argue that Sloan is the band Toronto can claim as their own (all though they’re from halifax). Style-wise, Sloan might look like the Strokes’ B-team, or understudies– they’re kinda dorky, and almost a decade older. There music draws from similar 70’s rock sources as the Strokes, but they are more harmonic and straight-forward in delivery. If Toronto is New York without all the baggage, then Sloan is the Strokes on prozac.
And one more point of comparison! Sloan just got signed to RCA, the label that signed the Strokes, and their new album Pretty Together will be out later this month.
watch some videos: