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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars T?'s best, and darkest, for years
Therapy? are one of Britain's most underrated bands. Like Motorhead, like The Fall, they plough a lonely furrow, always the same, always different. The general consensus is that they never topped 1994's diamond-brilliant 'Troublegum' - but the truth is, they never even tried to.
They are also one of Britain's most unique bands. Not through being self-consciously arty...
Published on 12 July 2009 by Mr. J. P. Young

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music for a stilted generation
Therapy? refuse to give up just because Radio 1 no longer play their songs. They are in this for the right reasons. Self respecting rock fans should take this to heart on listening to this, T?'s twelfth album.
I'll review this in a nutshell - basically this album is nowhere near as good as 'Troublegum'. Its better than a lot of their other albums though simply...
Published on 22 Nov 2010 by theone&only


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars T?'s best, and darkest, for years, 12 July 2009
By 
Mr. J. P. Young (Newcastle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
Therapy? are one of Britain's most underrated bands. Like Motorhead, like The Fall, they plough a lonely furrow, always the same, always different. The general consensus is that they never topped 1994's diamond-brilliant 'Troublegum' - but the truth is, they never even tried to.
They are also one of Britain's most unique bands. Not through being self-consciously arty or inacessible, but simply because their music is highly distinctive, oozing character, and makes entirely new flavours from their influences. Those influences, moreover, come largely from a glorious and now mostly forgotten period in the 1980s when hardcore punk became darker, wilder, weirder and more messed-up than it had ever been before. One thinks of Black Flag, Big Black, Scratch Acid, the Alternative Tentacles and Amphetamine Reptile bands...smart, funny, angry guys all.
After 2006's 'One Cure Fits All', which seemed a little sparse and patchy (much like Husker Du's rushed-sounding late-period albums, actually), this new one is Therapy?'s most bleak and introspective work since 1999's bug-eyed, claustrophobic nightmare 'Suicide Pact - You First'.
Mortality seems much on Andy Cairns' mind. "Time's attrition grinds these landscapes," he wheedles to himself on the desolate title track, the aural equivalent of driving through barren countryside, before imagining himself a ghost haunting those left behind: "My shade will comfort you..."
It's a little disconcerting to have Cairns (a disarmingly cheerful chap in real life) intoning, with no illusion, lines like "One of these days, when nature spring cleans, I'll be part of the flotsam that goes," on the closing, coldly purposeful prowl of 'Bad Excuse For Daylight". But perhaps it's healthy, in a strange way, to approach the void with neither fear nor regret, as he seems to be doing.
He also has other existential freakouts, concerning identity, on 'The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself', this opener as carefully paced and murderously precise as the closer. "Am I just a noise the brain makes?...there is nothing in the mind except the mind itself." Philosophical musings like this are unusual territory, to say the least.
There are upbeat moments. 'Clowns Galore' revolves around the screwiest razor-wire riff this side of Big Black's 'Passing Complexion'. And 'Magic Mountain', the album's highlight, is something unprecendented in Therapy?'s career so far. A ten-minute instrumental piece, it breaks the album's mood by being quirky and playful, the guitar making whirring, laughing sounds as it rises and falls and chases its tail (you can even hear it deliver a punchline at one point). I don't know if the title refers to Lightning Bolt's 'Hypermagic Mountain', but there is a similar dementedly effervescent vibe to LB throughout (albeit much less noisy).
This is a damn good album, full of surprises, and the product of warped, curious, intelligent minds. Therapy? have a dwindling audience these days it would appear, and that's a small tragedy. Appreciate them, 'cause there's no one else like them. (Alright, apart from maybe Andy Falkous' McLusky and Future Of The Left...but that's another story.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sitting on the clouds, throwing fire down below., 5 April 2009
By 
This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
That's how I would describe this Therapy? album. I cannot think of a band with more sides to them than this 3-piece. Every album has been different and this one is no exception.

Following the *quite dire* One Cure, this album does everything opposite to the last one. There are no singles. There is a LOT of experimental stuff and there's good production.

The last time i remember them doing such an album was 'Suicide Pact...' - a genius album.

This album doesn't quite hit those heights but my, isn't it loverly? There's such depth from beginning to end. I found the album hitting it's stride mid-way, with 'exile' 'crooked timber' and 'I told you' proving to be the best songs on the album. Each features a beautiful (on a therapy? album??) subtle melody, carefully rammed down your throat with crunchy guitars and techno drumming. Therapy? have gone for a deep, atmospheric feel this time. The production deserves a credit here - if it hadn't been so well mixed and edited, this could have come sounding awful. But it didn't and I know tonight i won't sleep, grinding my teeth in frustration. Therapy? have quite simply done what they do best - create an album that sounds nothing like the current musical taste of the moment.

Simply beautiful.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Therapy? album in ten years., 25 Mar 2009
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
That Therapy? were ever big is a bit of an anomoly. 15 years since they were on the cusp of world domination, the Irish trio battle determindedly on. Enjoying the struggle. It now seems odd that their template : dense military, tribal percussion, subterranean bass, buzzsaw guitars and barked, furious vocals, ever touched the public heart. In many ways, when they were huge, it was the wrong way round. If anything, Therapys? spiritual home was more akin to Black Flag, Big Black, and the abrasive, live Joy Division tapes. A roar of anger against a cruel, unthinking world.

The new Therapy? worldview is more succinct. No longer headlining huge rooms across Europe, the cottage industry T? do things with a furious efficiency. Born through necessity, the mother of invention, this band hit the stopwatch and compress years of experience and songwriting in a frantic race to the end of their studio time. The compulsion of this music - not made through habit or to fund luxury jets but through artistic requirement ; a world where it is harder not to play music than it is to live the life ; where this music exists because it must, not because it wants, makes "Crooked Timber" a keen listen. The music is on a leash and reaching for escape. It opens with the pummelling "The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself", and just keeps tunneling through the Earth to the core.

There are no singles on this album. Just a set of well-crafted, compelling songs designed for ears that need to feel guitars screaming in their ear. ""Exiles" sounds like the best Joy Division song you've never heard. And after that, there is "Sonambulist" which takes millionaire Irish rock stars down a peg, even if it doesn't demonstrate so obviously. Album highlight through is "Magic Mountain" - 10 minutes of furious prog-metal riffage that sounds like Anvils being thrown from God onto the devout. "Crooked Timber" is a fine record. And Therapy? Need you as much as you need Therapy. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music for a stilted generation, 22 Nov 2010
By 
theone&only (March, Cambs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
Therapy? refuse to give up just because Radio 1 no longer play their songs. They are in this for the right reasons. Self respecting rock fans should take this to heart on listening to this, T?'s twelfth album.
I'll review this in a nutshell - basically this album is nowhere near as good as 'Troublegum'. Its better than a lot of their other albums though simply because of the passion and rich seam of influences that are given the T? makeover within. It's easy to not love this album on the 1st few listens with confounding song titles like 'The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself', 'I Told You I Was Ill', and 'Somnabulist'. The music is confounding too. There are no fists in the air pumping rock riffs here nor lyrics about youthful angst. This is blackened, twisted rock n roll with all the party atmosphere wrung out of it and the dance grooves and huge dirty basslines pushed to the fore. Music for the jilted generation indeed. After a few listens this album gets under your skin and you can finally enjoy it for what it is. Perhaps the vocals could have done with a bit more work though as they suffer the same confounding fate as the music - all the life and soul is squashed out (so Im presuming thats what they were after!) but it would still be nice to hear a catchy hook in there somewhere which this album sorely lacks.
Still, kudos to T? for doing what they like! If you want something a bit darker in your collection, try this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return, 16 April 2009
By 
Andrew Taylor "Andy" (East sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
Yet another addition to the extensive list of Therapy? albums, and a fairly good one at that. What I admire about therapy? is that each album reinvents the bands sound, bringing in fresh ideas. It would have been too easy to make another 3 Troublegum albums but they insist on pushing forward with a subtle experimentation which to me makes them more interesting to follow as a band at least...
This album's sound is alot darker than some of their recent stuff. The bass in particular sounds alot more prominent, very grinding sound. The drums bring that manic, snare-heavy sound (a forefront of Therapy?s music) to a new level, sounding more punchy than ever. The guitar sounds very deep and crunchy, but there are also alot of lighter sounds, almost reminiscent of Sonic Youth or something, giving more room for the bass and drums to work independantly.
There is a nice lot of attitude, some really mental grinding tracks, and a few slower, moody, almost sci-fi sounding songs which break it up a bit.
Crooked timber as an album, some of it works really well and is some of T?'s most progressive and rockin' stuff to date, other parts dont sound quite right to me. I'm not all that keen on the title track (they made a video for it and all), love the story behind it, it all explores what makes us human and the rest of it... but with the same powerchord strummend for what seems like the entirety of the song, i find it drags a bit, along with the 10 minute instrumental track.
'I told you I was ill', 'Somnambulist' and 'Bad excuse for daylight' are pretty much the best things ive heard in ages though.
I think even if this album doesnt strike something straight away its gonna be a grower, not immediately as easy to listen to as Troublegum or High Anxiety, guess its more like Suicide Pact... but its a great new direction for the band and represents everything that we love about them. It'll make you smile, bang your head, feel confused and awkward all at once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anything but Crooked..., 8 April 2009
By 
freedomsstain "freedoms_stain" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
Personally I love this album, and if you're a Therapy? fan chances are you will too.

It's pretty much what Therapy? do, infectious beats and grooves, awesome riffs, top notch writing and musicianship and Andy Cairns voice is sounding as rich as ever. The bass of Michael Mckeegan is also damn good on this album, the bigness and quality of Michaels bass makes you wonder why they ever bothered with a 2nd guitar player in the 1st place.

The whole album is streamable through Spotify, so if you want to make your own mind up go go go.

Oh, and when I ordered this through Amazon dispatch was 1-3 weeks, so I cancelled the order and bought it for 9.99 on the highstreet, worth it I think.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old beginning and a very good new record!, 1 April 2009
By 
Per Lundberg "Perperov" (TYRESÍ, Sthlm Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
This release is, to me, the best music they have done for years! Maybe I'm not really qualified to analyse T? in any greater detail, but "Crooked Timber" really surprised me in a very good way! This is how I prefer Therapy? to sound: heavy, raw, yet melodic, and lyrics filled with dark humour and wit. Good stuff!!! And an approving nod to the producer, Andy Gill, is probably in place too...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not their greatest, 27 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
Not quite up to the quality of Semi Detached, but some great songs. The title track is the best of a good bunch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great record, 25 July 2010
By 
A. Chapman "Thrash fan" (Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
I have to admit I'm a bit of a part timer with Therapy?. I've dipped into various of their albums over the years and enjoyed them, so I bought this latest release to check out their current material. I wasn't disppointed -I've had this album on regularly for months! Definately the best thing I've listened to in a while.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best in a long time!, 7 Oct 2009
By 
G. J. Conway "gazconway1" (Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
This, for me, is the best Therapy? release since Troublegum (and the more I listen the more I think it is just edging above that!). It seems like a real 'back to basics,' approach was taken with this album, even the cover is straight forward, no nonsense!. Andy Cairns voice is the most enjoyable it has been in years and the songs are well crafted, abrasive at times and catchy, Enjoy The Struggle and Clowns Galore are personal favourites but i can listen to this album again and again without losing interest!
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Crooked Timber
Crooked Timber by Therapy? (Audio CD - 2012)
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