Indie Anthology: Sloan put ’90s Canadian alt-rock on the map with debut record ‘Smeared’

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Sloan share Smeared

On October 1st, 1992 in Canada and in January, 1993 in the United States, Canadian rockers Sloan made waves with their debut studio album, Smeared.

This Indie88 feature is presented with Sawdust City Brewing Co.

Released through Geffen Records, Sloan recorded Smeared for just $1200. Since then, it’s become a Canadian staple and is widely considered a seminal album of Canada’s 1990s alt-rock scene. In fact, music journalist Bob Mersereau ranked the album 86th in the 2007 book, The Top 1000 Canadian Albums.

Drawing comparisons to big name acts like Sonic Youth and the Beatles, Smeared sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. It was later certified Gold in Canada on July 12th, 1995, and by February, 1997 Sloan had sold 60,000 units of Smeared in Canada. The band released beloved music videos for fan-favourited “Underwhelmed” and “500 Up,” both of which were in moderate rotation on MuchMusic in the early ’90s.

Indie Anthology airs Monday-Friday on Indie88, featuring hits and hidden gems of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. 

Now, on the 30th anniversary of Smeared on October 21st, the Canadian legends will release their 13th studio album, Steady. The record features previously released tracks “Spend the Day” and “Scratch The Surface,” the latter of which comes accompanied by Sloan’s first music video in 10 years.

“They say if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go together,” frontman Chris Murphy explains. “I don’t know if there are many other bands you can name that are still making records with their original lineup 30 years in. Look it up!”

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