There are some bands that are very distinctive in their sound. You just know who they are. A signature sound.

If you take distinctive vocals, a certain brutal attack of guitars, dark lyrics, and an almost venomous delivery of those vocals, you get close to Therapy? And throughout the darkness and aggression there is always something that makes you stop and think.

This is Therapy?

For this listener as soon as I heard Troublegum a number of years back, Therapy? have always been one of those bands that have managed to capture a certain darkness that resides in the human soul. Twenty one years later they are about to release their latest album, 23rd March to be exact.

“Disquiet” still possesses that dark nature; the guitars attack, Andy’s vocals still carry that venom, but there is something mellower in the delivery, more melodic. This vitriol persists throughout the album, if not all Therapy? albums!

From the opening that signature guitar work hits you, and lyrically opening with ‘Help me, I’m stuck’, You’re deep inside my skull’ you just know what is coming. There is driving power and force, even during those calmer moments; add to this the emotional darkness, perhaps even helplessness and you cannot help but sucked into their world.

“Tides” flows (no pun intended) and seems gentler than you would expect, yet the drum sound gives it away as Therapy? track and although they have had their share of laid back tracks, they always seem to carry a certain gravitas.


Whereas “Insecurity” has a funkier rhythm, underpinning a fuzzed guitar riff that just hooks you in. The band describe this one as if they had been listening to “Unknown Pleasures” and Black Sabbath’s first album simultaneously. When the bass line breaks through the guitar riffs you can almost hear Joy Division, while the guitar riffs pack that harder edged Rock sound within their distortion. While the punchy “Vulgar Display Of Powder” has not just a potentially Pantera influenced title, but the main guitar riff has that feel of power.

The whole the album is more melodic, perhaps even laid back when compared to previous releases; but this does not detract from the darkness and venom that fans have come to expect from Therapy?. And no doubt when performed live they will pack a harder punch, and raise the roof. They went out with the intention to write something a little more anthemic, and it shows through – although I would argue perhaps not as anthemic as Troublegum, but time will tell. And while Andy has made parallels and references to Troublegum, this might be considered a belated sequel-emotionally just as powerful, albeit less aggressive. Certainly this album; their 14th studio release, demands to be played multiple times in order to let it settle in and take its hold. As Andy has said “…it would be idiocy for us to attempt to recreate Troublegum.”

This a great album, and one this reviewer cannot wait to hear performed live.


Line Up
Andy Cairns (Guitar, Vocals)
Michael McKeegan (Bass)
Neil Cooper (Drums)

Track Listing
Still Hurts
Good News Is No News
Fall Behind
Idiot Cousin
Helpless Still Lost
Vulgar Display Of Powder
Words Fail Me
Torment, Sorrow, Misery, Strife


Words by Jon.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace