Album Review: Therapy? – Cleave

I know a girl with perfect teeth, I bet she won’t be smiling at me, I know how Jeffrey Dahmer feels…lonely, lonely”, lyrics and a sound was my introduction to the then trio, Therapy? who were instrumental in my progression into the world of dark menacing lyrical rock. The 1994 record Troublegum exploded through my airwaves with “Trigger Inside”, “Knives”, “Nowhere”, “Die Laughing” and “Screamager” holding my attention longer than the education system.

It is with great pride that their 15th studio album, Cleave, is in these mits of mine.

Hold on, I just remembered a possible fact. I’m sure Therapy? played the Brixton Academy on December 13th, 1995 during the Brixton riots.

Anyway… Andy Cairns and Michael McKeegan have remained ever present while replacing original drummer Fyfe Ewing with Graham Hopkins and since 2003 Neil Cooper has been the holder of the sticks, the defender of all things skin.

Mr Cairns has given his thought on this creation: Dead set in the centre of these turbulent, divisive times Therapy? are here to offer their take on this new age of anxiety with album number fifteen, Cleave.

We’re bringing you ten tough new songs dealing in melody, riffage, rhythm and intensity. From the opening shot of “Wreck it like Beckett” to the denouement of “No Sunshine”, no breath is wasted. What’s more, Cleave has been produced by band ally Chris Sheldon, whose work also played a big part in Troublegum. This body of work takes in a breadth of influences while retaining the unique character of the classic Therapy? sound.

Press play and time to hear what Therapy? Are giving us.

The pure chaotic groove in “Wreck it like Beckett”, the force of Cooper, gives this track the same essence as a Rage Against the Machine Christmas number one. Therapy? are never afraid of hitting a nerve or opening a box that many people are too afraid to so much as glance inside. They explore the dark mental health issues surrounding many of us in this world in “Kakistocracy”. Cairns’ ability hasn’t wavered with approaching matters as sensitive as this, while McKeegan’s intense riffs allow the ear to listen appropriately.

“Callow” hit me with a full dose of flashback to the Troublegum era, delivering memorable hooks and dark lyrics leading to a stonking bass on “Expelled” and, yes, I used the word stonking. The enjoyable words Therapy? concoct in their creations such as “Save Me from the Ordinary” influence the record throughout, with “Crutch” having a touch of the indie punk scene. “I Stand Alone” and “Dumbdown” flourish back the euphoric recall of earlier years of aggressive drumming and riffs bleeding.

A three-piece who became a four-piece and three again, toured for the masses, giving us “Infernal Love”, “Nurse” and many more to name and collate. So guess what – Therapy? is needed.

Therapy?: official | facebook | twitter

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments