Therapy? - Troublegum
Line up for this album :
Andrew James Cairns : Vocals, Guitar
Fyfe Ewing : Drums, backing vocals
Michael McKeegan : Bass, backing vocals
Additional Musicians :
Page Hamilton : Lead guitar on Unbeliever
Lesley Rankine : Vocals on Lunacy Booth
Martin McCarrick : Cello on Unrequited
(Later to become an official member)
Eileen Rose: Vocals on Femtex
Released in :
This is Therapy?'s second full length album and by many this is seen as their masterpiece, I cannot do anything but agree with that. (Although Infernal love comes close)
They were one of the bands who popped up when Nirvana got big, but they are by no means grunge, I find it very difficult to classify them as one genre. They are clearly punk influenced but often show their love for metal as well. I've heard them being called the link between Nirvana and Metallica, which might just be right, they are just very varied.
This album is not very technical, but not too simplistic either. They use metallish riffs, yet they manage to maintain a lot of melody. Andrew J. Cairns is a genius with melody, the tunes he writes are very catchy, but not in an annoying poppy way, but in a more darker, melancholic way. Add to that the excellent backing vocals by the band members and guest singers and you can buy yourself a ticket to Melody Paradise. (usually)
Lyrically, Cairns never disappoints me, although some might deem it 'angsty', it blows away every linkorn nu metal lyric in existence. (It's a generalisation, I know, don't get smart on me)
The songs are rather depressing, thus writing about a cliché topic, but he always succeeds in using original metaphors, mixed with witty sentences, which is just lovely.
1. Knives (1:55)
A short opening track, starting with a sharp power chord played a couple of times. Cairns talks over the riff and after a few sentences, the song goes into chorus mode, it's a good chorus. The song calms down again after the chorus and another verse appears, after the second chorus, the backing vocals get screamy and don't seem to be words anymore, in the end all instruments try to match eachother's chaos and suddenly they stop and the last thing Cairns says is :" you can't help my life, but you can hide the knives".
2. Screamager (2:36)
Knives just flows perfectly in the second song, and it starts with a simple power chord intro, but it just sounds so awesome. It just has a rhythm that you can't resist to tap your feet to. The chorus is amazingly catchy and there are some mini solos here and there. I would like to quote the legendary words. "With a face like this, I won't break any hearts, and thinking like that I won't make any friends". This is probably one of my favourite songs on the album.
3. Hellbelly - (3:21)
Therapy? seem to be experts at lettings songs succeed one another in a fluent manner. This opening riff is a great one and less simplistic as the previous intros, it's sounds quite metallish.
In this song Cairns uses his low vocals for the first time. On later albums he will use these vocals more often and it can be a shock if you're used to Cairns' clear voice. At first they seem to be used jokingly, but one gets used to that quickly. In the chorus the clear (and excellent) vocals return. This song has a solo, nothing very technical but very melodic and it fits right into Therapy's style.
Another good song.
4. Stop It You're Killing Me - (3:50)
Once again the song starts immediately with some power chords and some nice drumming. The verse is very good, the chorus isn't as good, which always disappoints me, because I always hope that a good verse leads into an awesome chorus, but the chorus is by no means bad. Again, some great lyrics and just a good song.
5. Nowhere - (2:26)
This is probably Therapy?'s most famous song and it did not steal its reputation, the intro is just amazing. Two notes are played over a strong riff over and over again and the tempo is fast, which just makes you want to hop up and down. "Heaven Kicked you out, you wouldn't wear a tie". Gotta love that. The music sounds very happy, yet ironically it's not a happy song, it has a bit of a pop punky feeling to it. The verse is great, the chorus is great and the solo is on an equal level. This is just an awesome song, perhaps my favourite on the album.
6. Die Laughing - (2:48)
I used to skip this song quite a lot, I don't really know why, since it has a good intro, perhaps because of the slow paced beginning, the chorus isn't too bad either, but little did I know, that after a minute or so, my ears have the joy of hearing this tremendous riff. Great ending to the song. Good song.
7. Unbeliever - (3:28)
Very Metallish Riff to begin with, and the song sounds very dark and sad as he repeats "on my own" in the chorus. The song seems to drag me to an unpleasant destination, but certainly not musically as we get to hear an awesome solo, the work of a guest guitarist, as it is more technical than something Cairns would write. The bassing is also very nice. This is certainly one of the best songs on the album, depressing song, but a very good one.
8. Trigger Inside - (3:56)
Very upbeat intro, the verse is excellent and sadness is dripping of it. Again, I'm a bit disappointed because the chorus doesn't match the excellence of the verse, but it's great nevertheless, this song also has a cool interlude. Good song.
9. Lunacy Booth - (3:55)
"Reveal yourself to me, Like cheap pornography", great words to begin a song with. The chorus of this song is somewhat because of the high vocals in the background, but I'm liking it. Again this song drowns in melody, in the middle there is a nice little bass interlude and the guest vocalist brings her soft vocals to complete the song.
10. Isolation - (3:10) (Joy Division Cover)
So, I just found recently that this song was a cover, but this version is quite different from the original, I must say that this is probably the worst song (least amazing, perhaps) on the album, which is once again a proof of the awesome songwriting on this album. But I still like it, the vocals sound a bit electronically adjusted, only the chorus is a bit weaker. But, really I still like this song.
11. Turn - (3:50)
Apparently, this was released as a single. A hypnotising intro it has, later on supported by good drumming, and it has a haunting verse. The chorus has something despairing in it.
The song has a solo-like breakdown, which sounds great. The ending is also very Doomy. Awesome song.
12. Femtex - (3:14)
For some reason, I think the opening riff sounds very Medieval, I can just imagine knights marching to the battle field when I hear this. "Masturbation saved my life", once again, wisdom spoken by Cairns. The riffing is very driving, almost galloping, sound very Metallish. In the chorus is gets a bit smoother and it breaks down and a solo begins, after repeating a few parts, some female vocals kick in, which is a nice variety. Very Good song.
13. Unrequited - (3:03)
I used to skip this song a lot as well, because it starts with the same Power chord being played and the vocals just go 'mmph'. Cairns seemed to be very provident with his lyrics on this song, but just to get a different effect on this song, I'm sure. He just shouts single words with pauses in between. It takes a while to get used to the verse, but it's not too bad. The chorus however is very good, guitars combined with cello, the cello that would later become an important element of Therapy? and the cellist on this album would become second guitarist and cellist for the band. (Left again in 2004) The chorus sounds happy for a change, in contrast to the verse. The song has a great ending, good song.
14. Brainsaw - (3:59)
I tend to judge an album on the last song, and Therapy? cleverly put this in the end. The song is about betrayal and this is very well reflected in the music. The song is slightly more technical than the other songs, the drums are very catchy, if I can say that about drumming, they stick to me. This is a very good song. It ends with the sound of an old record playing " you are my sunshine, my only sunshine...". Perfect ending.
Therapy?'s Masterpiece : 5/5