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The Final Word | Tuesday, 27 June 2017
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THERAPY - Shameless   Print  E-mail 
Written by Graham Reed  
Sunday, 03 October 2004
Gentleman, fire up your axes?

Ready to rock muthafuckers? Got your cardboard axes at the ready? Ready for duelling twin guitar solos? Right then, Synchronise headbanging in 543..2..1

This is the way Therapy? Would like it to be. Tongue in cheek, revelling in the mighty fun of pisstake metal. Much like a great many of the newer, more popular bands that appeals to the KIDS: Less than Jake抯 揳ll my best friends were metalheads, Sum 41抯 sub-Motley Pussycat NWOBHM homage of  損ain for pleasure. However, these bands truly realise the absurdity of metal.

Therapy? On the other hand seem to take it seriously. They抳e been knocking around for years, and are, quite frankly, can be one of the best British bands around. The debut 損leasure death and 揵abyteeth saw them in an unholy mix between Big Black and Ministry, creating a behemoth of noise that was truly the closest to organic industrial I can imagine, all spiky and unkempt; and far in excess of the fact they were only a three piece. By the time 揘urse came round they were shwoing a poop edge, and when 揟roublegum appeared they singlehanded invented the Britrock scene that spawned Terrorivision, Bush, 3 Colours Red, and Feeder, perfecting the art of pop songs with loud guitars and teenage angst to a tee. The, with 揑nfernal love (to me their finest moment), they experimented a bit, and pissed off a lot of fans in the process.

As if harking back to glory days, 揝hameless is, for the first few songs, one of the finest britrock albums ever made. Its got 揗TV2 heavy rotation written all over it. 揋imme back my Brain is a song that stands up with their finest moments ever ; and then 揇ance makes it even better.

But, beware, before you know, its hair metal time. 揥oah woah starts the third track. It抯 a warning for what will follow: 揑 am the money seems to redeem the album. Then comes 揥icked man which is surely the worst song Therapy have ever recorded, and possibly the worst song I抳e heard all ear. Andy Cairns sings in faux-pas country style, and when the lyrics include 揗y wife is a robot, my baby's cot Is a heavy-metal parking lot, you know it cant be get much worse.

But the lyrics do.

Endless psychology includes 揚ainted on your daddy's arm, wasted in your mummy's car You're sixteen and you feel so lonely, signing up for some Commie army

Oh jesus. And you thought that was bad? Wait until he starts talking about 搕ree people. And the rocket to the crypt-esque joey goes even worse. Starting with the cry 揼entleman, start your axes, its goes into a drag racing fetish that sinks even lower than that very clich. I said, "this is either Jesus, aliens or cops It was neither, it was Joey Dunlop. It tries to be rockabilly, but is just closer to a rocking chair.

Therapy? were a brilliant band once.  But their fixation with the camp, kitsch aspects of heavy metal  seems to have overtaken them. Any band who lists their main influences as Judas Priest, Exodus (specifically 揵onded by blood era), and Saxon .have either got their tongue in their cheeks, or mean it. Therapy? On the other hand, used to mean something more than all those bands combined. Now all they mean is Thin lizzy-esque double guitar harmonies ( favourite of Iron Maiden, and worryingly, Papa Roach), songs that start with the Bon Jovi-esque choruses of 揥oah Woah), lyrics so infantile and puerile they make the Ramones look like Steven Hawking, and all the worst metal cliches under the Sun only they mean it, maaaan. Gentleman, start your axes indeed.

There抯 some excellent and very rock production by Jack (Soundgarden, Nirvana) Encino here; however, its totally unsuited to the band. Unfortunately, the only thing shameless about this album is that抯 its too damn metal for its own good. At any second, I half expect the band to break into Saxons 747 (wheels of steel) or tygers of pan tang songs. That抯 never a good sign. It might be half calculated commercial move, half harking back to their metal roots, but if nothing else its dumbed down lyrics and obsession with 80抯 metal guitar solo抯 does the band a greater injustice than I imagined possible. . It reminds me of the pet shop boys track of the same name "shameless", when neil tennant starts talking about "we will do anything to obtain our 15 minutes of fame". This album will more likely bring them 15 minutes of shame.


I wish this was an album that truly could make this band into the mainstream again, now that its gone full circle and everyone loves loud guitars again. However, this poor, perfunctory effort will do the band more harm that good. File under 90抯 indie/metal superstars try to resurrect 80抯 metal cliches in a  poor, unconvincing manner  that抯 really making me rather listen to Limp Bizkit instead, its that bad.

Its painful to listen too, if only for the fact it抣l be compared to classics of their past and found to be a shallow, pale photocopy by a band that抯 but a shadow of its former self.

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