TherapyAfter 26 years and 13 previous albums, Therapy? are a band that have been there and done that. Although the general populous would plump for ‘Troublegum’ as their finest hour, their output has yielded many highlights, including ‘Pleasure Death’, ‘Infernal Love’, ‘Suicide Pact…’, ‘High Anxiety’ and ‘Never Apologise Never Explain’. Therapy? have ridden the waves produced by those people fickle enough to only latch onto certain eras of the bands history and (much like bands such as Paradise Lost or New Model Army) continue to make the kind of music that pleases themselves and pleases their large and loyal following.

Their 14th album ‘Disquiet’ can be considered “classic” Therapy?, and the fact that term will mean different things to different people, this is no mean feat. It combines the heaviness of ‘Crooked Timber’ and 2012’s ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’ with the sense of alienation that underlies their work, and perfectly demonstrates their uncanny knack of producing anthemic tunes. ‘Disquiet’ is musically monstrous, catchy as hell, and is quite frankly, fucking great.

Opening track ‘Still Hurts’ is the perfect statement of intent, and comes on like an older (but not exactly wiser) version of ‘Knives’ from ‘Troublegum’. Short, stabby, and catchy as heck, with Andy Cairns’ urgent guitar riffs and vocals letting us know that life doesn’t get any easier. This is followed by the lighter ‘Tides’, where the guitars shimmer into a more open approach. The chorus here is pop perfection, and with it’s rock ‘n’ roll riff lead-up it has “single” status written all over it. The Joy Division-esque intro to ‘Good News Is No News’ leads way to some great chug and buzz and demonstrates that Therapy? are still the twisted kings of the middle eight, and ‘Fall Behind’ doesn’t waste any time either in delivering a massive riff and another infectious vocal hook.

Grungy bass heralds in ‘Idiot Cousin’ with it’s darker style and unforgettable opening shot of “Trust us to fuck it all up…when we get near the top”. The vocals here are pure Alice In Chains and Neil Cooper’s drumming is coiled to clanging perfection, as are Michael McKeegan’s elastic grooves in ‘Helpless Still Lost’. The ‘Isolation’ influenced ‘Insecurity’ starts off compressed and squidgy and moulds into a cheeky inversion of ‘Trigger Inside’. The shouted chorus smacks of desperation before getting loose and trippy. Darkness reigns again in the grinding riff style of the brilliantly titled ‘Vulgar Display Of Powder’ as Andy Cairns pours scorn upon the excesses of rock & roll, his vocals dripping with disdain at the laughable peacocks of the music business.

With the Buzzcocks ramble of ‘Words Fail Me’ and the rampant, crashing guitars of ‘Torment Sorrow Misery Strife’, we are led reeling into the doomiest song that Therapy? have ever unearthed. The final track ‘Deathstimate’ certainly knows a good riff when it hears it…and this one is a MONSTER! The track is wise enough to let this one ride out to the 7 minute mark, while reminding us that time waits for no one. “The road ahead looks shorter than the one behind”. Brilliant.

‘Disquiet’ is undeniably Therapy?’s best record since ‘Never Apologise Never Explain’. Neil Cooper’s drumming is as tight as fuck, Michael McKeegan still has a bass sound to die for, and noone does  disillusion and regret quite like Andy Cairns. So despite the fundamental darkness, this could well be the soundtrack of your summer. It is also their first release for the Amazing Record Co., and Therapy? have delivered just that, an amazing record.

(10/10 Stuart Carroll)

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