Halifax 4-piece Sloan borrow from designer Saul Bass for the cover of their 1998 70′s rock pastiche NAVY BLUES. Largely known for movie title sequences (for Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Scorcese – remember the start of CASINO?..damn right…) Bass often employed two tone contrast (or, more accurately, black and colour) for figures or moving fonts and jigsaw-style moving parts to create a style that was at once simple (almost hand-drawn / cut out) and sophisticated.
The title sequence from MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM – utilising the floating cut-out lines and that great font (which I’m sure is now known as S.Bass(medium).ttf)..
-and the title sequence from CASINO…(it doesn’t have much to do with NAVY BLUES but…um……..it’s great anyway)
Photographer Catherine Stockhausen and designer Lee Towndrow use disembodied shapes, minimal bold palette and dissecting lines to mimic Bass’ style (for the album cover) and Mike Andringa (with the band) used the same approach for the video to Sloan’s van rockin’ road anthem ‘Money City Maniacs’.
The insert art is a pretty standard but nonetheless effective b&w collage of how cool and cute all the sloan guys are – the perfect accompaniment to an album that essentially seemed like all the guilty pleasures of a ‘serious’ indie rock band coming to a glorious boil and frothing into something infinitely more enjoyable than dour shoegazing and way less stupid than hard rock. Bit of a Saul Bass homage on the cover (it doesn’t seem to make sense initially but alongside the endless referencing within the album it just becomes one more element of a giant, fun pastiche) and that rounds it off nicely. – put one in my stocking please..