When you've been as long-lived and prolific as Sloan, coming up with something fresh is a real challenge. The Canadian indie rock heroes are up to the task on Commonwealth, their 11th (!) studio album. Having four talented songwriters and singers in the band has been a key asset, and that is reaffirmed here. Designated by the four playing card suits, there are four essentially solo sides here, yet somehow the results still happily sound like classic Sloan. Andrew Scott is the most ambitious, composing "Forty Eight Portraits", an 18-minute pop suite for his Spade side. Band members have a wealth of talent in common, and they come up trumps here.
The band rocked out at Festival Music House in Toronto earlier this week. A fall Sloan tour begins at Sudbury's Townehouse on Oct. 7, concluding at L.A.'s Bootleg Theatre on Oct. 23.