This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Did you ever have one of those friends who’s just a little too dependable? Someone who’s annoyingly prompt, unfailingly together, impeccably presented — in short, so damn perfect and predictable that they’re not much fun to be around?
Sadly, that’s the way I’m starting to feel about Sloan. Every couple of years, these Halifax rockers put out another near-flawless album. Every album has about a dozen tracks of impressively smart, genuinely pretty power-pop. And every one of those songs is brimming with catchy choruses, crunchy guitars, bittersweet melodies, stacks o’harmony and enough hooks to outfit an art gallery. Action Pact, their seventh studio album in a decade, will spark the same Beatles and Big Star and Badfinger comparisons as their other discs. And after a cross-Canada club / theatre tour, a couple of singles and videos that don’t quite catch fire and much debate about why these guys can’t seem to catch a break in the States, everyone will forget about Sloan for another two years, until they come out with their next near-flawless album. Bottom line: Much as I love these guys, they need to try something new — a country album, a horn section, anything. ’Cause as it stands, they’re just living proof that you can have too much of a good thing.