Breakdown Barrier

Remover - Breakdown Barrier ©2000 Blue Worm Records
1. Wrench
2. So Well
3. Cheating Satellites
4. Come For Me
5. Never Wrong
6. Stop The Bleeding
7. Falling Forward
8. Chopper

There seems to be a massive recycling effort underway in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin when it comes to their post-punk type bands. As with labelmates Redoverlunar, Minneapolis' Remover is formed out of the ashes of two different bands, in this case Dropnickel (whom I have heard and found exciting) and Wisconsin's Levee (whom I have not heard and cannot vouch for anything on the excitement factor). Dropnickel was actually a very promising band so it was a shame they couldn't stick it out a bit longer, but Remover is a good follow up effort for former Nickelbacks Brett Johnson and Jer Fink.

Remover's music is essentially what alternative music could be were it to have some bite and grit to it. While there is some guitar interplay that is often associated with postpunk bands, the main focus seems to be in writing catchy, gripping songs that harness strong hooks and a solid melody. The production of Breakdown Barrier gives this guys a very crunchy sound that is both ringing with clarity yet retaining enough rock dirtiness to let it have the best of both worlds. The album contains a mix of slower numbers and more aggressive and exciting thumpers. The closing "Chopper" is the kind of song that makes you wish you could hear more. "So Well" is another twin guitar assault that rips up the speakers. The only thing about the album that really needs improvement is the singing, which seems a bit too plainitive and hesitant, but not overly so like too many alterno-rock shoegazer offenders.

Remover does make up for the dissolution of Dropnickel and with luck this outfit will stick around for a few albums. Fans of a bit harder edged alternative rock should definitely check this one out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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