Two headphone cycles while mowing my weeds is cementing “Parallel Play” as my favorite Sloan record yet. As the most democratic quad-core in rock, this Canadian band splits songwriting and vocals almost equally between Chris Murphy (bass) Patrick Pentland (lead guitar), Jay Ferguson (rhythm guitar), and Andrew Scott (drums). Live, they also swap roles when Scott grabs a guitar and Murphy just makes a mess behind the kit. Honestly, that used to be my “whatever” part of a show, but Scott’s songs on Parallel Play (Emergency 911, Down in the Basement) are so strong I’m getting over it.
Even muffled by the um, muffler of a lawnmower, my (product placement warning) Etymotic Research ER6i Isolator In-Ear Earphones deliver sound and syntax smoothly.
There’s irony to one particular song for me. For Chris Murphy, the song laments 40 on his horizon. I’m a more than a decade further down that bridge we build as we walk. At the live shows I usually scan the crowd for some dude older than me. I always find someone, usually some toasted hippie, but if I keep going, some night my search may be in vain. Actually, the crowd scan is pretty pointless anyway, but I’ll do it again Monday night when Sloan rocks Chicago’s historic Double Door.
Not so much Styx once I heard The Ramones”
Sloan – “I’m Not a Kid Anymore”