A brief look/review of Therapy?’s new album Cleave. I’m not really one for reviewing Music as I find it hard to express what I’m hearing in words but I’ve tried to put forth my opinion on the album.
Therapy?’s thirtieth (Or 15th depending on your view if we’re just talking albums in general) full-length studio album. Therapy? have been in this game for a long time now. Approaching their 30th year as a band next year having played their 1st gig on the 20 August 1989. Thought Therapy? were out of ideas? Nope, ploughing ahead relentlessly as ever. One thing which remains consistent throughout Therapy?’s career Is their sound. It changes & evolves but it always carries that instantly recognisable Therapy? blueprint. Cairns vocals sound as distinctive as ever & many of the songs on this release throw you right back to the Troublegum era. This is a good thing in my opinion!
The album is 10 songs with 7 of the 10 clocking in around the 3 minute mark. Littered with chunky riffs, big choruses, catchy hooks & bridges, drum fills & flashbacks of old.
Wreck It Like Beckett kicks off the album & sets the albums theme of dealing with struggles we face in life today. It also sets the needle for a fresh chapter in Therapy?’s journey. Upon hearing this track for the 1st time I did dismiss it as “That’s one song I won’t be listening to again” but like many great songs they don’t immediately grab you & I found myself becoming more taken by it after repeat listens. The song even has me laughing now at some of the finer details which were absent on albums like Never Apologise Never Explain & One Cure Fits All. These finer details could be anything from a well placed “Ahhh” to switching the guitar parts up mid chorus & it really makes the difference between bland & grand.
Kakistocracy isn’t a song I’d rate highly on this album but the bridge section redeems it. Callow is perhaps the most obvious lead single for the album, with a guitar line reminiscent of the Screamager days. The song deals with a real issue affecting many people today with antidepressant use and need to be numb to deal with reality. Crutch is one I immediately liked & listening to the lyrics could relate to. We’ve all been there and used something as a Crutch and usually end up getting burned & making some dreadful decisions in life due it. Our Crutch which we seen as our little helper turns out to be a destroyer we wished we’d left well alone. I Stand Alone is an interesting and catchy song, blending new ideas with oldskool Therapy?. The bass line hit me as sounding similar to Deftones “My Own Summer” but that might just be me who thinks that. Expelled, the intro part of this song reminded me immediately of the Nirvana song “Radio-Friendly Unit Shifter“. I don’t know if that was intentional or not.
Towards the end of the album Dumbdown sounds like it could be titled “Wreck It Like Beckett Pt II”. The main riffs sound like they could work really well together in the same song. Bringing the album to a close is No Sunshine which is a surprise for a final track as it instantly became a favorite.
Having listened to the album many times over now my favorite songs on the album are probably Success? Success Is Survival, Crutch & No Sunshine & Callow. 2015’s Disquiet was a great album that reignited my Therapy? flame probably for the 1st time since 2003’s High Anxiety. CLEAVE hits me in all those same places.
These are the 2 singles released so far from the album with a 3rd Crutch coming in November. Crutch is a good choice for the 3rd single & I would have gone with either it or No Sunshine.
Cleave sounds fresh, manages to bring new elements to the table while revisiting Therapy?’s past without sounding regurgitated. Here’s looking forward to seeing what Therapy? can pull out of the bag next! It would be a huge surprise if they were to put a new album out for their 30th anniversary but I’m content with this for a few years.
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