Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reviews: Sloan- The Double Cross; Steve Niles Omnibus

Sloan/ The Double Cross (YepRoc, 2011)
Sloan put out consistently good albums, albeit varying degrees of good. Some are pretty good (Twice Removed, Action Pact), some are really good (Navy Blues, Between the Bridges), and some are not very good at all (Parallel Play). Each album has some worthwhile songs on them, and this, their 10th long player, is a middle-of-the-pack Sloan album. My favorite thing about this band is that there are four singers and four songwriters, with little to no real collaboration. Sloan is something of a collective solo project. I tend to lean towards the Andrew Scott and Jay Ferguson songs, but the Chris Murphy ones are a step up from their last album. Patrick Pentland's songs have gotten more generic sounding over these last two albums. I didn't clock this album, but I'd bet that it's under 40 minutes long, and that's a good thing. I listen to 95% of my music in my car these days and like to finish an album on a roundtrip commute. So there you have it: another solid Sloan album to add to your collection.

STEVE NILES OMNIBUS (IDW, 2008; softcover)
Collects Aleister Arcane Nos. 1-3, The Lurkers Nos. 1-4, Secret Skull Nos. 1-4 and Wake The Dead Nos. 1-5 (cover dates September, 2003- January, 2005).
IDW apes the Dark Horse Omnibus format, right down to the trim size and trade dress. That's cool, as it's a sharp design. Aleister Arcane is a decent story with mediocre artwork. Wake The Dead is fantastic and worth a read. It's the only series in this book with decent artwork, and the cover image (above) is taken from the cover of one of the issues. Secret Skull has a solid enough premise, but is marred by Chuck BB's amateurish artwork. Horrible, non-Horror tinged garbage, it really holds the story back. The Lurkers is a severely decompressed, lazy read. It's Bendis bad, with padding and unnecessary "camera angle" changes.  The final tally: One series that's a winner, three that are losers.

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