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On disc: Therapy?

Never Apologize Never Explain - Alex Albrecht - 8 stars
Crooked Timber - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

Crooked Timber

Crooked Timber
(DR2 Records - 2009)

"From the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." - Immanuel Kant (18th-century German philosopher) inspired Therapy? when they were looking for a title for their new album. Now Crooked Timber is getting into the stores The band from Northern Ireland was founded 20 years ago and in the mid-90's they been everybody's darling and frequently guests at MTV and festivals. Within 2 decades bands go through changes - personally and musically. So what is offered on Crooked Timber? The trio is focussing on heavy rhythms, you'll find less catchy melodies. Andy Cairns and his mates present heavy alternative metal with a dash of punk. They kick off with The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself, a riff-based track. A heavy groove dominates Enjoy The Struggle while Cairns vocals seems cold and distant... Disillusioned. Towards the end the guitar adds a different flavor... Almost jazzy... But then the heavy groove is back - accompanied by distorted vocals. And soon it gets crystal clear that Therapy? did an album which won't please everybody and which won't get them back on MTV & co., but it seems that they are just followed their own instinct. At Exiles Cairns sounds different, not preachy, but with the confidence of a preacher... The song has an EBM touch... and even the vocals remind me a bit of this genre... One of the songs which can hook you up almost immediately is Somnabulist. Partly it's the heavy bass riff, but also Cairns' vocals which are a bit more melodic. With Magic Mountain the threesome offers a long instrumental track, but with about 10 minutes is gets a bit lengthy... The instrumental is more melodic, less based on riffing and on heavy grooves. This tune doesn't really fit into the album and it would be interesting to know why they decided to add it to Crooked Timber. The closer is a heavy groover called Bad Excuse For Daylight. A bulky tune with a melodic vocal line and metallic riffing. I'm still not sure what to think about this tune... it's fascinating and it's disturbing.
Therapy? take you onto a sonic roller coaster ride with Crooked Timber. Therapy? fans have followed the band through ups and downs, they accepted the musical changes, too. And I think that many fans of the trio will like Crooked Timber, coz it shows the band the way they are - unpredictable. Well, they stay within their own limitations, so don't expect some country-ish song or so! I can only judge the album out of context of their previous releases, coz I didn't know them well enough. If you liked Therapy? in the past and like the heavy side of them, then you should check them out! The album is available as CD, vinyl and MP3 download. I recommend: Crooked Timber, Somnabulist, I Told You I Was Ill and Enjoy The Struggle.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Never Apologize Never Explain

Never Apologize Never Explain
(Spitfire Records - 2004)

Every album sounds different. Their last studio album High Anxiety was released in 2003 and was offering a more polished sound. And in the Therapy? world that means now they will do something different. A rough production, singer Andy Cairns sounds like being in the next room, guitars more up front. This time they offer no big hits like in the mid-90's. The pressure after the hits almost broke the band. On album #10 of the Northern Irish trio they offer 13 rockers. To keep the freshness they recorded the album within 2 weeks. If you like Troublegum you should be careful. But who likes Therapy? will check out the CD anyway before buying, so... I would recommend to check out songs like Die Like A Motherfucker, Near Extinction or So Called Life. With this album they won't make it into the charts, but that's okay.

8 stars

Alex Albrecht
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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