[Album Review] Sloan | Twice Removed

I came to Slone later than most Canadian Gen-Xers as I didn’t jump on board until Navy Blues. At the time, for reasons I cannot explain, I then dismissed the albums that came before it. Since then, I have come around to enjoying Smeared, One Chord to Another, and the Peppermint EP. But, I still had a mental block with Twice Removed. For some reason, I never listened to it. I thought I might even not like it. I have no idea why. Maybe it was Patrick Pentland’s frosted tips on the album cover.

Anyway… when Sarah and I saw Sloan perform in October of 2019, she picked up One Chord to Another and Twice Removed at the show. Here they are…

I can recall looking at the cover for Twice Removed with the feeling that I wasn’t going to like it, then feeling like a complete idiot once I had given it a spin. This is great! What is wrong with me? I intended to listen to the album more, but then somehow 3 and a half years went by before hearing Aaron from Keeps Me Alive having a discussion about it with Geoff Stephen on the 1002nd album podcast.

After I was done with the show, I finally made the time to give Twice Removed the deep dive it deserved. The power of suggestion is a real thing! The lesson is: if you believe everything has already been said of an album, speak of it anyway! You never know who is listening/watching/reading. Anyway, here is my take…


Penpals – A+
This is an adorable album opener. Yeah, that’s the word I’m going to use, adorable. The lyrics are excerpts taken from Kurt Cobain’s mail from international fans, with the broken English contained in them sung verbatim. It could easily come off as mean-spirited, but the vibe I got was… ‘look at how cute this is.’ The hook is a U2-ish ‘the real thing’ guitar riff that fits the song surprisingly well.

I Hate My Generation – A
No, Sloan isn’t going to war with The Who. That would be fun. But, it just happens to be the title of the song. Plus, it sounds more like a Beatles riff from Revolver than anything Pete has strummed. Enjoyable tune.

People of The Sky – A+
‘Ba ba bada baaaaaa.’ That’s the jovial hook you’ll be humming around the house. The lyrics, however, are anything but jovial. They are about a breakup before the guy ‘dips to the other side, up to people of the sky.’ Downer lyrics with an upbeat tune. This kind of song toys with my emotions.

Coax Me – A+
This is probably the album’s most recognizable song as it was a single with a video for Much Music TV. Here it is for reference…

Chris Murphy was giving the band’s label, Geffen, an ‘Eff U’ in the lyrics as they wanted this album to be ‘Canada’s answer to Nirvana’.

It all seemed to happen so fast
Will you ever believe the way he passed away
I saw his widow speak on her fortune
She was feelin’ pretty apathetic

Yeah, they didn’t want to have anything to do with the scene Nirvana had created. Chris even makes it clear by saying “It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans”. He mixes this commentary with nonsensical lyrics such as:

If I drink concentrated OJ
Can I think Consolidated’s okay?

A play on how people would mishear Kurt Cobain’s lyrics. It makes for an entertaining listen!

Bells On – B
This is the first song that I’m lukewarm on. The melody drags and it has that ’90s slow-heavy, slow-heavy pattern of rock that has never really done much for me. I’m glad they got further away from this as time went on.

Loosens – A+
Heartfelt lyrics over a smooth groove. Ah, this is why the ladies tend to love Patrick the most. Well, at least my wife does.


Worried Now – A+
Bobby McFerrin might be shaking his fist at Patrick for this one, but I enjoy this 2:40 rocker with a great “worried now” hook in the melody. Follow along with its drum fills and tell me you are not entertained.

Shame Shame – C
Another one that sports a ’90s slow-heavy, slow-heavy groove and I don’t enjoy the “shame, shame” hook. This one is a little bit skippable for me. Little bit.

Deeper Than Beauty – C+
The stripped-down clean guitar and drums that sound as if they were recorded from the hallway set this apart from the rest of the album. I get what they were going for here, but I just didn’t jive with the song that much. It feels unfinished to me.

Snowsuit Sound – A-
Hey, we’re back to a good hook! This one was played often during their live shows in the late nineties. It has a good feeling and a moment for the crowd to clap along for audience participation synergy. I wish it did feature a snowsuit sound though. That would be fun.

Before I Do – B-
The band is channeling The Beatles ‘White Album’ with spoken dialogue buried under the band’s slow jam. It has me envisioning headphones being pushed closer to ears as listeners attempt to make it all out before it abruptly ends. Outside of that scenario, the song goes on a little too long and the intro drags a bit. Meh, it’s fun but just ok.

I Can Feel It – A+
I do wish this song wasn’t tacked onto the end and moved up to a higher spot on the track list, but the upside is how we end on a high note! Maybe the band felt that the song felt out of place with Jennifer Pierce, from the Halifax band Jale, making an appearance as a backup singer. Well, this is one to throw onto the mix tape to impress your friends because I don’t know if many people outside of hardcore Sloan fans have heard it. Darn shame.


For me, Twice Removed isn’t quite up to the quality of their next two albums as they had not shaken out all of the ’90s cliches from every song just yet. Still, they hit the sweet spot while honing in on what makes them great often enough to make this a brilliant listen. If I had any pen pals, I’d write to them about this album right now. Thanks again to Aaron and Geoff for encouraging me to look at this one again!



Open yourself to more Sloan:

Peppermint EP
Twice Removed
One Chord to Another
Navy Blues

4 Nights at the Palais Royale
Between the Bridges
Pretty Together
Action Pact

Never Hear the End of It
Parallel Play

Hit & Run EP
The Double Cross

B Sides Win, Vol. 1: 1992-1997
B Sides Win, Vol. 2: 1992-1997


16 thoughts on “[Album Review] Sloan | Twice Removed

  1. Cheers, Kevin!
    Glad you enjoyed the album, I like the report card system – and good point about the lyric/music juxtaposition in People of the Sky, I tend to gravitate to that sort of contrast too.
    And a high note closer indeed in ‘I Can Feel It’ – fabulous understated finale!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No. It felt like it was the best of the best that night. (It was in the summer before the Navy Blues tour.) I knew every tune and had a blast singing along.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, thats a great line! Thanks, Deke. It got a little to busy around here with the move to keep up with the blog, but I’m glad to be back at it now. Hopefully with regular content until I get too busy again, lol

      Liked by 1 person

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