Therapy? Part 2

So, 2001 apparently saw me fall out of love with Therapy? Except it didn’t, as a wee investigation saw that Shameless wasn’t the last album I bought, indeed it appears that Part 1 saw my album numbering going a bit awry and there was a hint of repetition… rather unprofessional of me. However, the fact I was falling out of love slowly with the band made sense, as the evolution in my taste in music hadn’t quite reached its Zenith. In short, though, the band’s time rotating at the top of my playlist was fading fast. Their last 2 albums hadn’t hit me in the way I would have hoped, but time changes everything and so does a phoenix rising from the flames.

High Anxiety was, ahem, the last Therapy? album that I bought! It appears that this album did not have a massive impact on me, as I couldn’t remember owning it. Fortunately, upon the retrospective re-listen, I realised that it had a handful of real bangers where I remembered a decent amount of lyrics. ‘Hey Satan, you rock’ is a great intro to an album. It sets a tone that, unfortunately, the band doesn’t maintain. Another top drawer song is, ‘If it Kills me’, another banger. It’s a decent album, just not from the top-drawer. This was the first album with the new drummer, Neil Coooper and, unfortunately, the last with Martin McCarrick. Therapy? was once again back at their fighting weight as a 3-piece.   6/10

I then utterly lost contact with the band, leaving them behind, never to return? Well, I did return to them but I had a few albums to catch up on.

The first of these was the band’s 8th album, Never Apologise, Never Explain. Rather disappointingly, this album is not fully available on streaming services and, as I do not own it, I have struggled to listen to the whole album. This means that it is rather unfair to try and rate this….. but I will!  The album saw the band move back to a punkier sound, probably as part of being a 3 piece. This allows the band to be a bit riskier, with the album having a fair few good tracks, including, ‘Here be Monsters’, ‘So Called Life’ and ‘Save the Sermon’. Was I wrong to give up on the band?  6/10

This retrospective gave me the opportunity to listen to album no.9, One Cure Fits All. I was incredibly surprised by the strong start this album has. In fact, the consistency of the album has almost made me regret giving up on them when I did. This is a proper fist pumping album, with a couple of superb songs. ‘Dopamine, Serotonin, Adrenaline’ stands head and should above the rest of the tracks, with, ‘Unconsoled’ running it a close second. 7/10

2009 sees Crooked Timber released, this time on a new record label Demolition Records. Yet again, the boys move away from the sound of their previous album. By now it should be clear that Therapy? are a band who will also grow, always develop their sound and, most importantly, do it on their own terms. Again, I listened to this as part of the retrospective and I was impressed. The albums title track has a supremely catchy, head nodding riff that is utterly catchy and has you humming for days. Another track, ‘I Told you I was ill’ has a jagged riff, again sitting in your head for ages. It’s superb. Crooked Timber is an album that confirms I was wrong to stop listening and is a gateway to the subsequent reinforcement that follows.  7/10

A Brief Crack of Light was released in 2012, after a brief delay. This isn’t your typical Therapy? album, perhaps because of the disjointed recording sessions. It has, yet again, a different sound and is a little bit hit and miss. ‘Plague Bell’ is a superb song, its genuinely enjoyable. However, ‘The Buzzing’ isn’t. It a disappointing song, but it does not stop the album from being very intriguing, and it is this intrigue that ultimately makes the album quite enjoyable. 7/10

2015 saw me reconnect with Therapy? for the first time in over a decade. I can’t remember the reason why I was prompted to listen to it, but I recall being on a train home from work deciding to listen to the album on a popular streaming platform. I was utterly gobsmacked at how good Disquiet was. I could not believe how hungry the band were, and my immediate thoughts were how much Cooper had reinvigorated the band – he is a top-class drummer – and how much fun the band appears to be having. It is a reminder of the bands glory days and I listened to this album time and time again… before ultimately moving on again as albums poured in for review and taking up my time.  7/10

2018 saw the last Therapy? release, entitle Cleave. Originally available for pre-order through the ill-fated Pledge platform, the album was ultimately released on a new label, Marshall Records. It is interesting to note that the band went back to Chris Sheldon for the production. Sheldon was responsible for the production of ‘Troublegum’ and ‘Semi-Detached’. This is perhaps how Cairns’ voice sounds immense, with the band sounding incredibly mature. Cleave is the sound of a band who have rediscovered themselves. That said, all bets are off for the direction Therapy? head of to next. I for one cannot wait and I so chuffed to have rediscovered a band I adored in the 90’s. 8/10

Of all the bands that disappeared from my life, Therapy? are perhaps the one that got away. I have barely seen them live, I have not given them any money for merch/albums for years and yet I call myself a fan. This is something I shall have to remedy!

Album Ranking

  1. Suicide Pact – You First
  2. Troublegum
  3. Cleave
  4. Infernal Love
  5. Disquiet
  6. Semi-Detached
  7. Crooked Timber
  8. A Brief Crack of Light
  9. One Cure Fits All
  10. High Anxiety
  11. Never Apologise, Never Explain
  12. Nurse

Published by thedevilshorns

I have been listening to metal since 1985, begging my friend to give me a copy of Iron Maiden's epic live album, 'Live After Death'. He refused, so I had another friend give me a copy instead (the copy had a jump in 'Flight of Icarus', funny the things you remember). I currently write reviews for www.metalepidemic.com, and it is a hobby that I love. The joy of hearing new bands that I may not have discovered cannot be easily quantified. But where does that leave time for artists that have been with me for over 35 years? That is the reason for this blog. My name is Paul, and I am The Devils Horns!

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