Removal


Removal

Removal - Removal ©1997 Smoeff
No listed song titles

Removal is a three piece instrumental band from Vancouver, BC, who I discovered while stalking, ahem, following NoMeansNo on their tours this past year. With a sound that is one part Rush influenced and given a healthy injection of punk energy, Removal grew on me with each subsequent live performance until I finally broke down and bought their pair of CDs. Certainly one of the more devious plots of late. Nevertheless, although I don't usually care for instrumental outfits due to a high degree of wankery and showoff tendencies, the self titled Removal debut CD is a very good piece of work that highlights both the abilities and strong points of the band. While many instrumental outfits seem content to bookend solos of one or all the members with so-called "songs", Removal seems more content on composing an actual song and letting their talents shine through that. The only band they remind me of is Rush, and only peripherally. Bill, the guitarist, is very much texture and riff oriented as opposed to soloing madly. The rhythm section of drummer Ernie and bassist Rob is dexterious and adventurous, alternating between straightforward rushes of energy and trickier rhythm jumps. The band sneaks in occasional samples here and there to give a slight bit of depth to the already full compositions. The nice thing about this CD is that the band is fully capable of delivering it live and they have proved themselves an excellent warm-up band for the likes of a NoMeansNo. This CD should be of interest to anyone who enjoys crunchy, song-oriented instrumental music as well as the legion of NoMeansNo fans who seem to dig the off-kilter musical approaches.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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My Name Is Irrelevant

Removal - My Name Is Irrelevant ©1999 Wrong Records
No listed song titles

Continuing in precisely the same vein as their self-titled 1997 album, Removal's My Name is Irrelevant offers another half hour of crunchy, groove-laden music that is sure to please anyone who liked the first album. As with the first album, the Canadian trio focuses primarily on riff oriented instrumental music that relies on a busy rhythm section and texture from the guitars. The samples, of course, still pop up here and there and some of them are downright amusing or simply bizarre. The maniacal laughter on the sixth track is particularly disturbing. That song also is the key Removal song as it sums up their modus operendi quite well. The drumming and bass line are very straightforward, high in tempo and the guitars offer an aggressive and crunchy texture. Throughout the disc, each of the songs (titled "Irr 2.02" through "Irr 2.12") tends to retain a listener's attention because there is a considerable amount of catchiness, regardless of the fact that there are no vocals to commandeer the focus. The Rush influence is still fairly strong, albeit twisted by punk rock aesthetics. At the end of the day, both Removal discs prove to be very enjoyable instrumental music designed for those who dislike both wankering and show-off instrumentalists.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2001

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Removal W/ Mr. Wrong 7"

Removal - Removal W/ Mr. Wrong 7 ©2002 Remove All Music
No listed song titles

Removal, Vancouver's instrumental power trio, has undertaken a very interesting project. Over the course of ten seven-inch singles, Removal will be allowing ten different vocalists the opportunity to dress up Removal songs with vocals. As a result, fans will finally be able hear karoake Removal and hear what it would have been like had Removal found a vocalist in the first place.

The first in the series features a certain Mr. Wrong from Nomeansno providing his singing talent to the sixth song off Hello, My Name is Irrelevant. This perhaps may end up being the most impressive and powerful pairing of the entire series. Not only do you have Rob Wright's incredible singing and lyrical talent, but you also have one of the most driving, enjoyable songs in Removal's back catalogue. The result is an incredibly powerful song that makes one wish Mr. Wrong would spend a few more hours in the studio singing with Removal. The lyrics and melody both sound as though they were written in perfect conjunction with the original instrumental version, right down to the maniacal laughter sampled on the old version. The vocal version elevates what was already one of my favorite Removal tracks to godlike status. The b-side to the single is a new Removal song that relies on a few more samples than some of the band's earlier works. Since the a-side is so impressive, there is a bit of a letdown, but don't let that stop you from getting ahold of this single. Nomeansno fans are hereby required to pick this one up as well. Terribly impressive melding of Vancouver talent.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2002

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There Can Only Be None

Removal - There Can Only Be None ©2002 Remove All Music
No listed song titles

Returning for their third full length CD, Vancouver's instrumental trio Removal has shown they are willing to up the ante for their unique blend of Rush-meets-Ramones (a very rough and inaccurate description, but I couldn't think of two other bands whose names start with "R"). There Can Only Be None finds the band expanding their base sound, becoming more inventive with both effects and their trademark samples, and overall creating a more intriguing album. Rather than just sticking to crunchy rhythms and the energy of punk, the band attempts bringing more atmosphere into the music. There are moments where the echoing guitar of Rush makes a cameo appearance and even quiet, Tortoise-like segueways. Removal seems more focused on varying up the topography of the album and working within ebbs and flows of music. The samples are often clever (particularly the album opener that finds an old country crooner singing "You can't have a record if you ain't got nothing to say") and used very intelligently, as opposed to just slapping them all over the place simply because you can. Overall, the guitar approach seems considerably more inventive and spacious, which is very necessary for an instrumental combo to work.

There Can Only Be None is definitely the most enjoyable Removal release up to now. Their trademark rhythm'n'crunch still is intact, but joined by a considerably impressive amount of new atmosphere and creativity. Those who have caught Removal opening for Nomeansno will be advised to pick up this latest release and for those searching for a non-shred, non-jammy instrumental outfit should also pay heed.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2002

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