There are bands making such good music out in the world today that just warrant their fans shouting to the masses by any means necessary informing people what they’re missing out on. Therapy? are one of those bands for me. I wish I could just shake people sometimes while saying: “They kept making albums after Troublegum, you twit!” That probably wouldn’t win Therapy? any new fans, though, and that’s certainly what they deserve.
On A Brief Crack Of Light, Therapy?’s thirteenth studio album, the Northern Ireland rockers bring everything full circle. There’s the creepiness of Nurse and Suicide Pact-You First, the pop of Troublegum, the “fuck you” attitude of Never Apologise Never Explain, and the complexities of Crooked Timber all while sounding as fresh as ever.
I said in my review for album opener “Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing” that the band were invoking Nurse and Troublegum and within the context of A Brief Crack Of Light those words still ring true. That’s not to say that ABCOL is a retread by any means. That’s further from the truth. On their lucky thirteenth, Therapy? honor their past while going boldly into the future.
Moving forward, “Plague Bell” begins with an onslaught of buzzsaw guitars that just races at you with malicious intent. From there we go to “Marlow”, a sing-a-long mostly instrumental rocker that goes everywhere. A bit early U2 and a bit football chant, “Marlow” is a stand out for Therapy?.
“Ghost Trio” has this amazing synergy and a guitar line that you can just picture Andy Cairns laying waste to on a humongous festival stage. Without a doubt my favorite song on the new album, “Ghost Trio” is the greatest example of what happens when everything comes together. Drummer Neil Cooper is just on fire and Michael McKeegan delivers on his bass from beginning to end.
Therapy? bring the quirky still especially on “Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder” which at times sounds like it could be from Tron and others the soundtrack to a psychedelic murder trip. Closing with another weird one, “Ecclesiastes” is almost six minutes of subtle creepiness as Cairns repeats in vocoder voice: “Everything under the sun is absurd”. A fitting end to a phenomenal album.
A Brief Crack Of Light is not only one of my favorite albums of 2012 but it just might be up there with my favorite Therapy? records of all time. Therapy? never went anywhere. You just stopped listening. maybe it’s time you started paying attention again.