Therapy? - Crooked Timber
(DR2 Records, 2009)

Ever reliant Northern Irish rockers Therapy? are back again on what is unbelievably their 12th, yes 12th, studio album. The Therapy? story is
long and complicated and generally a bit hit and miss. If you go in expecting anything like the seminal power pop of 1994's Troublegum album you will probably run away from this album crying for yo' Mamma. Importantly the cover of the album is a simple black and white affair simply with the bands logo and their mascot Gemil on it. It kind of works as a statement which could say "This is us, deal with it".

This outing is much more in line with their very earliest releases (Babyteeth and Pleasure Death) and 1999's Suicide Pact:You First. That is to say it is the sound of a band who are making exactly the album that they want to. A band who has nothing left to lose. It is brilliantly held together by Michael McKeegans groovy fuzzy bass parts as well as Neil (Super) Coopers fantastically tight drumming. For once the guitars actually take a bit of a back seat. The melodies are not so prevalent either instead opting for more of a jam feel to many tracks (one track, Magic Mountain, is a ten minute long instrumemtal).

This is a rock album with a bass, a guitar and some drums. It is proper rock and roll. Ditched is the polished sound of some earlier albums (noticeably Troublegum, Semi-Detached etc). On the whole it is quite a dark affair really. You only need to look at some of the track titles to see that (The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself, Enjoy The Struggle, I Told You I Was Ill). Infact in places it reminded me of (the vastly under-rated) Eat Me, Drink Me album by Marilyn Manson in
the way it sounds. Stripped down to the bare essentials.

So yes, not many bands can say that on their 12th album they are still evolving and coming up with the goods. Therapy? have pulled something
special out of the bag on this one. Go out and buy the fucking thing. Oh and catch them on tour at a shithole near you soon.

Richard Bull