Completely Removed

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Post-rock may have hit its peak in the ‘90s, but a handful of bands successfully carry the torch. Comprised of two past members of Smart Went Crazy and Faraquet, Medications are one such act. While staying true to their math roots with angular guitar noodling and clever syncopation, their pop hooks shine on Completely Removed to keep them in line with contemporary indie artists. If their self-titled debut felt like one long Mars Volta suite, their follow-up is more like a compilation of Field Music singles, with a greater adherence to melody and constructing simple verse/chorus songs out of the twisty instrumentation. A reason for this mild change in style is the departure of drummer Andrew Becker. Remaining members Devin Ocampo and Chad Molter wrote the majority of songs themselves, prior to the joining of studio hand Mark Cisneros, who came up with his drum parts and added keys and vibes after the songs were nearly completed. A more tightly knit writing process resulted in arrangements that rely less on the aggressive riffage that showcased Your Favorite People All in One Place and more on Ocampo’s warm, airy voice. While this may sound like a bland step backwards for fans of the genre, a perfect balance is achieved; the hooks are strong enough to reward casual listeners and the musicianship is still mighty impressive.

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