Therapy? - 'Cleave' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2018    
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A pleasantly surprising album.

Therapy? have been around since something like 1994 and the band's huge success in their early days gave them the ability to put out albums they wanted to without any pretence of having to pander to record labels or changing trends.

I spoke to a friend of mine who is a huge Therapy? fan from the early days to get some low-down on the latest history on the group and his words were that the last three albums were so hit-and-miss that you'd struggle to make one decent record from them all. That didn't bode too well for my listening pleasure, but I went ahead and took one for the team.

To be brutally honest, I'm not sure where Therapy? fit in today's musical genre stereotyping, but I'm sure Clutch and Corrosion Of Conformity fans could listen to 'Cleave' and find something in it that pleases them.

I gave 'Cleave' a few listens and instantly didn't get it, I'd even go as far as to say I hated everything about it, but playing it while I sit and type this review, my attitude has changed slightly about it. This is not groundbreaking music, it's not going to set the world alight and I'm not actually sure where it is going at times, but it's very well done and the production I hated now makes sense – it's raw, ballsy and fat. The songs I thought were just ramblings of a once big band are actually well-written songs with a purpose and have something about them which has longevity.

Therapy?, do they fit in 'Fireworks'? I originally said no, then I still agreed to review it and now I honestly think they should fit in. The beauty of music is that genres do not define it, or they shouldn't, so yes, Therapy? may not be the sort of band normally reviewed here, but I'm happy to say it's a pretty good release.

The guitars on songs like 'I Stand Alone' are phenomenally beefy, the drums are raw throughout an album; they're both dry and punchy. The bass then complements the pair by having a place in the mix and dominating it without being too much.

I'm happy to say I was wrong about 'Cleave', it's not my normal cup of Darjeeling by any stretch of the imagination, but I can say that it's a pleasantly surprising album.

Tony Marshall

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