Sloan: Australia 1999
Music lovers covet two things: bootlegs and vinyl. Canadian rockers Sloan brought together the best of both worlds for their fans with last year’s Is That All I Get?, a recording of the band’s 1993 performance in Winnipeg. Australia 1999, a limited edition pressing of one of their shows in Sydney, follows this model but with a twist. This time, the audio is recorded directly from the soundboard, making the quality that much better.
There are some live moments that deserve capturing, and though Australia 1999 doesn’t capture the entire gig, the album is still littered with magical moments. “Losing California” features a ridiculous riff, which is pretty impressive until “Sensory Deprivation” comes along. This track sprawls on for seven minutes, with more than two minutes dedicated to a jaw-dropping guitar duel.
There are a few moments when the quality is less than what would be desired. The vocals to “The Lines You Amend” are difficult to hear, which is a shame because the single is a charming slice of Beatlesque pop. Fortunately the next song, “Friendship,” comes through loud and clear, complete with another quality guitar onslaught.
For Sloan fans, this will be an essential addition to their collections or a reminder to go back to the band’s back catalog prior to 2000. It likely won’t win over a new audience, but it’s a wonderful indulgence for band and audience both, especially those who were there for the extreme rocking out that night in Sydney.
The album can be purchased here.