Friday, 19 June 2015

Review: Therapy? - Disquiet [2015]

   Despite being a band since 1989, I remember really only knowing Therapy? through their hit Screamager (maybe also Nowhere) before seeing them at something called The Lost Weekend in London. I was blown away by their set and the fact that they actually incorporated different styles, like industrial and techno, while I initially viewed them as just some sort of old school hard rock band. Despite really only ever having the album Troublegum in my collection and not really paying attention to them since the song Rock You Monkeys (from Never Apologise Never Explain), I've always had a sort of sweet spot for the band. When I heard they had new album, Disquiet, on the way, I just had to check it out.

   As some of my readers know already, I posted the video for the band's first single Still Hurts (album opener) a while back and was surprised by the fact they are still churning out pretty heavy stuff. Still Hurts is pretty frantic in the verses, melodic and sweet in the bridge and groovy and catchy in the chorus. It has that iconic Therapy? snare sound (the one that sounds a bit like a trash can) which has always given them a slight industrial edge to their music. The song, as a whole, aptly sets the tone for the whole album.
   Not saying that all the songs here sound the same, but there's an ingredient that not only ties them all to Therapy? but also ties them all together to the same album. What that actual ingredient is, I'm not too sure, but could be a fusion of the aforementioned snare sound, the guitar tones, the pairing of thumping as well as groove drumming (played by drummer Neil Cooper) and frontman Andy Cairns' distinct vocals. There is nothing on this album which is too "out of the ordinary", which also means there is nothing that feels out of place. Even the incredibly named Vulgar Display of Powder (track 8) unfortunately doesn't live up to the Pantera-esque image I initially had. It still has a fat, heavy main riff, as do tracks such as Fall Behind (track 4) and Helpless Still Lost (track 6). 
   Therapy? have definitely surpassed themselves by managing to write a catchy chorus for almost every song. Tides (track 2) has one that's melodically sung and relatable, the one for Good News Is No News (track 3) will be stuck in your head for days (was for me), that of Idiot Cousin (track 5) sounds like Silverchair's Freak but cooler and the chorus for Torment Sorrow Misery Strife (track 10) is surely going to be a great singalong at shows.
    The latter, along with album closer Deathstimate, are really the only tracks that are in anyway different to the rest. Torment Sorrow... has a punk feel, reminiscent more of bands like Down By Law or Social Distortion, while Deathstimate, the album's slowest track, stands out due to its spacey stoner riff. Its change of pace makes it a great end to a pleasurable album, which is surprising for me to say as I don't normally like songs this long (7 mins). 

   As someone who hasn't been following Therapy? for a long time, the album was still a great listen from start to finish. My only criticisms are that the snare sound might distract some people and the bass tone on the intro for Good News... is ridiculously 80s and quite awful on first listen. The material on here is heavier than some stuff they have done before but also not as experimental as other material from past albums. Nevertheless, I can't imagine any diehard fans being disappointed with this album. Whether it will get the band new ones is hard to say.


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