Sloan Revive Twice Removed, The Album That Almost Killed The Band

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 21, 2012 3:00PM

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Photo by Jay Coyle
The year was 1994 and Halifax, New Scotia's Sloan was primed for huge success. Their debut, Smeared was released two years before on the hugely popular Geffen Records and rode high on the noisy waves of grunge that was quickly dominating that label's roster. It was commercial enough that Geffen saw fit to promote the band along the likes of Nirvana, Weezer, Hole and Counting Crows on a popular compilation released in the midst of the "alternative" explosion. While the band's music was noisy and, yes, sonically smeared, what differentiated them from the rest album was a healthy serving of jangling hummability buried under all those guitars.

The band's sophomore album, Twice Removed, brought those melodies to the fore and dialed back the guitars to create a work that was leaner and cripser but no less powerful. Unfortunately this new approach didn't sit well with the airwaves at the time and Geffen offered the band almost no support, causing an album that was once picked as the #1 Canadian album of all time to slip by almost completely unnoticed in the U.S., sending the band into a nosedive. In fact Sloan was believed to have been broken up until 1996 when they self-released One Chord To Another, a surprisingly successful and insanely catchy rebirth for the band lauded by the CMJ set (think of it as an old man's Pitchfork) and reinvigorating the band's career. Twenty-four years later Sloan is still going strong and releasing album after album of solid material.

This year the band released an expanded and lavish deluxe edition of Twice Removed to properly celebrate both the album and the band's success in turning that low point of popularity but high point of creativity into the genesis of one of the longest and most successful second acts we've ever witnessed. The group is in the midst of a tour, stopping at Subterranean Sept. 22, playing Twice Removed in its entirety along with a second set of music from their entire career. We've been peeking through the band's setlists over the last month or so and it looks like fans of the band are in for some real treats including both "the hits" and a couple unburied treasures. Whether you're a longtime follower or brand new to Sloan's music, we can't highly recommend seeing this show enough.

Tomorrow, Sept. 22, at Subterranean, 2011 W North, 9 p.m, $15, 17+