120 Reasons To Live: Sloan

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#107: Sloan “Underwhelmed”

And this is how we met cute with Sloan in 1992: a song about crushing on a grammar-challenged girl, delivered by a band that looks like it stepped out of an alternative-rock romantic comedy. It was easy to be charmed by Sloan’s clever wordplay, Canadian articulation and Sonic Youth guitars in the midst of all that Pearl Jam/Stone Temple Pilots growling. Also, it’s a funny coincidence that drummer Andrew Scott is wearing a Teenage Fanclub T-shirt: Sloan and Teenage Fanclub might be the two best bands of the last 20 years. While Teenage Fanclub just kind of mellowed nicely over the last two decades, Sloan has tripped into the 1970s closet of musical styles (soft rock, punk, arena rock) and come out the other side with an impressive mastery of team songwriting, vocal harmonies and classic riffs (check out “Unkind” from last year’s The Double Cross).