Review by Ian Savage
The thirteenth (yes, thirteenth!) album by Northern Ireland veterans Therapy? will surprise anyone coming to it knowing only of their mid-90s chart heyday material, but as no surprise at all to anyone familiar with how challenging, atonal and downright weird the outfit are capable of being whilst at the same time putting out tunes which lodge themselves into your subconscious.
‘A Brief Crack of Light’ is a grower of an album for sure, but still has trademark Therapy? stamped all over it. Opener ‘Living In The Shadow Of The Terrible Thing’ is an opening right hook to the jaw, followed with the gut-punch of ‘Plague Bell’ to leave the listener in dazed anticipation of what’s to come. The anticipation is rewarded by the outright creepiness of ‘The Buzzing’, the sparse catchiness of ‘Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder’ (which I challenge anyone to not be singing in inappropriate situations after a few listens), and the manic sprint-for-the-finish of ‘Stark Raving Sane’, before the album closes with instrumental ‘Ecclesiastes’, with echoes of Radiohead and Bush’s more left-field work.
A must for fans of Therapy?, no matter how long you’ve been away, and well worth a listen for anyone wanting proof that rock music can still push boundaries and defy formulae regardless of the longevity of the band making it. The band describe this as their most compelling album to date; after a dozen or so listens this reviewer is inclined to agree.
8 out of 10
- Living in the Shadow of the Terrible Thing
- Plague Bell
- Before You, With You, After You
- The Buzzing
- Get Your Dead Hand off My Shoulder
- Ghost Trio
- Why Turbulence?
- Stark Raving Sane