HOT PRESS ALBUM REVIEW: THERAPY? ‘DISQUIET’

23 03 2015

Here’s an un-trimmed for space review of the new Therapy? record that ran in Hot Press (with added ‘Still Hurts’ track review below).

THERAPY?

Disquiet (Amazing Record Co.)

Key Track: ‘Deathstimate’

ROCK LEGENDS STILL KICKING AGAINST THE CLIQUES.

8/10

Known, loved and rightly lauded for never making the same record twice, the unpigeonholeable rock pioneers Therapy? have once more set sail for pastures new on Disquiet. Leaving behind the measured menace of their previous two LPs, album number 14 is a more direct beast which often kicks as much ass as the Mighty Thor. Something of a spiritual successor to High Anxiety, Disquiet boasts 11 melodic punk and metal-imbued blasts of head-cracking riffs and filthy basslines and fans of the likes of Troublegum and Semi-Detached will find much to love on the record.

Lyrically speaking, singer/guitarist Andy Cairns is in vintage form as he muses on the passage of time (the Pantera-punning ‘Vulgar Display Of Powder’ is a particular standout on that front). ‘Still Hurts,’ ‘Idiot Cousin’ and ‘Tides’ are future live favourites, packed with pithy lines, massive choruses and satisfyingly meaty guitars, but it’s album closer ‘Deathstimate’ which really steals the show. Initially intended as a fusion of early Sabbath and Portishead, the seven minute long monster is a masterpiece and like nothing they’ve done before. Built around a magnificent riff dripping with doom influences, Cairns’ mournful vocals are perfectly weighted and utterly arresting. Not only is it the best track on the record, it’s one of their finest recorded moments and a welcome reminder that Therapy? still have plenty of surprises up their sleeves.

MARCH 20

EDWIN McFEE

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METAL HAMMER REVIEW: THERAPY? ‘TROUBLEGUM’ ‘INFERNAL LOVE’

19 05 2014

Today I thought I’d post up a review of the recent ‘Troublegum’/’Infernal Love’ Deluxe Editions that ran in Metal Hammer a few issues back.

Mad one, this. I vividly remember reading the reviews of both records that ran in Hammer 20 years ago (when the LPs first came out), so being asked to look after the verdict of the re-issues (both of which genuinely changed my life) well, it was a pretty cool feeling to say the least.

The piece changed a few times before it went to print due to design/photo issues, so I’m not sure which version ended up in the magazine, but here’s the final draft anyway (I rarely see my writing in print…long story).

 

 

THERAPY?

TROUBLEGUM/INFERNAL LOVE

UMC/MERCURY

While the word seminal may be bandied around much too often these days, when it comes to Troublegum and Infernal Love by NI’s Therapy?, the adjective couldn’t be any more apt. Bursting with twisted lyrics wrapped around metal-infused, punk-imbued barbs, the former remains a much-adored, evergreen classic 20 years on from its release, while the brooding, beguiling latter is a bit like the Robert Downey Jr of the rock world-misunderstood and not quite what we were expecting at first, but now an entity that continues to get more awesome with age. This month they receive the deluxe treatment and the re-mastered re-releases also feature a treasure trove of tasty treats for both collectors and new-comers alike. Stuffed with b-sides, live cuts and remixes from their respective eras, highlights from the triple disc Troublegum set include the stellar, stand-alone single Opal Mantra, ShortSharpShock EP favourite Totally Random Man and of course the indefatigable, game-changing sucker punches Screamager and Nowhere, which still sound fresh and ferocious in equal measure. Not to be outdone, the double CD version of Infernal Love is just as strong thanks to a stark re-imagining of the criminally-ignored Nurse classic Disgracelands and the cow-punk-tastic Our Love Must Die, while the three and a half minute, buzzing mind fuck that is Epilepsy, the anthemic, hook-laden Stories and the gloriously gloomy Me Vs You prove the original record is well worth a revisit. In short, any self-respecting rock fan should own both.[9]

EDWIN McFEE

 





Bye Bye 2012

31 12 2012

Yes kids, it’s that time again where we wave buh bye to the year and welcome in a new one. Instead of words this NYE,  I’ve decided to post up some pictures which sum up the last 12 months before finishing off with my top 20 LPs of 2012.

Thanks to all the bands, promoters, PRs and mates who hooked me up with records, gigs and good times.Here’s to 2013.

2012: The Year In Photos (And The Odd You Tube Link)

May 13, 2012. I’ll remember this day until they put me in a pine box.Kinda crazy to think that long after we’re dead, people will still be able to see us on this footage of City winning their first Premier league title. Can you spot me and my Da? Handy hint: We’re under the giant purple arrow….

Chilling like villains backstage at the Odyssey with the WWE alongside my brother and nephew.Also-big thanks to the Celtic Warrior Sheamus for hooking us up and being an absolute hero.

Here’s a clip of Therapy? playing ‘Exiles’ at the Tall Ships in Dublin this summer.Y’know…I might refer to myself as “the wonderful Edwin McFee” for the duration of 2013 (the quality’s amazing, eh…..?). Mad props to the Therapy? boys.

My fanzine, Generation Why, (which started the ball rolling on this mental job of mine) celebrated its tenth birthday.

There was a lot of party rocking in a variety of different places with a number of different people this year.Here’s to more adventures.

I finally got that Iron Maiden mask I’ve always wanted.

…and that Betty Banner tattoo I’ve always been looking for too.

And lastly (but certainly not, um, leastly…) here’s my Top 20 LPs of 2012.It’s been a great year for records and hopefully 2013 will be just as good. Happy New Year and Up the Irons!

1) Therapy? ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’

2) Gallows ‘Gallows’

3) Hot Water Music ‘Exister’

4) Best Coast ‘The Only Place’

5) The Gaslight Anthem ‘Handwritten’

6) Wolfsbane ‘Wolfsbane Saves The World’

7) Triggerman ‘Hail To The River Gods’

8) JD McPherson ‘Signs And Signifiers’

9) Cloud Nothings ‘Attack On Memory’

10) Hour Of 13 ‘333’

11) Cheap Freaks ‘Bury Them All’

12) The Jim Jones Revue ‘The Savage Heart’

13) Bobby Conn ‘Macaroni’

14) James Levy And The Blood Red Rose ‘Pray To Be Free’

15) Mystery Jets ‘Radlands’

16) DZ Deathrays ‘Bloodstreams’

17) Master And Dog ‘Master And Dog’

18) Band Of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’

19) Baby Woodrose ‘Third Eye Surgery’

20) Alabama Shakes ‘Boys & Girls’





Metal Hammer Top 20 Albums Of The Year

13 12 2012

The Christmas/end of year Metal Hammer is out this week and as is customary, the Top 50 albums of 2012 (voted for by writers for the mag like myself) are revealed.Sadly this year, there wasn’t enough room to print the individual lists of all the scribes (boo!) but since I’m awful good to you Dead Horse readers I’ve posted up mine below.

Towards the end of the month I’ll also post up the less genre-specific list I sent to the other mags I write for,but for now, without further ado, here’s my pick of the heaviest records of ’12.

01) Therapy? ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’ (Blast)

02) Gallows ”Gallows’ (Venn Records)

03) Wolfsbane ‘Wolfsane Save The World’ (Cargo)

04) Triggerman ‘Hail To The River Gods’ (Triggerlad Records)

05) Hour Of 13 ‘333’ (Earache)

06) Down ‘Down IV Part 1: Purple EP’ (Roadrunner)

07) Pulled Apart By Horses ‘Tough Love’ (Transgressive)

08) Gacys Threads ‘The Ignorance Of Purity’ (Savour Your Scene)

09) Turbonegro ‘Sexual Harassment’ (Volcom)

10) Trash Talk ‘119’ (Odd Future Records)

11) The Cult ‘Choice Of Weapon’ (Cooking Vinyl)

12) Rolo Tomassi ‘Astraea’ (Destination Moon)

13) Tankard ‘A Girl Called Cerveza’ (Plastic Head)

14) Pelican ‘Ataraxia/Taraxis’ (Southern Lord)

15) Purified In Blood ‘Flight Of A Dying Sun’ (Indie Recordings)

16) Orange Goblin ‘Eulogy For The Damned’ (Plastic Head)

17) Witchsorrow ‘God Curse Us All’ (Rise Above Records)

18) Paranoid Visions ‘Escape From The Austerity Complex'(Plastic Head)

19) Steve Harris ‘British Lion’ (EMI)

20) Corrosion Of Conformity ‘Corrosion Of Conformity'(Plastic Head)





Interview: Therapy? (Sunday Life)

26 11 2012

Here’s a reprint of an interview I did with Therapy? for the Sunday Life that ran ahead of their Gifted Live show.

As Sunday Life is a newspaper, you have to write in a different style but I enjoy the change of pace and indeed discipline.It keeps things interesting. Anywho, I’ve also added the video for the boys’ new single ‘Before You, With You, After You’ that was filmed on the night.I’m sure if you hit pause at the right time you can probably see my mush in there too,so there’s a bonus treat for you…

If you happen to live in the UK, Therapy? are out on tour right now, so if you bump into them, buy them a pint of Black Milk and tell them your pal Edwin says hello.

Return of the Kings

This Thursday night sees local legends Therapy? return to these shores to play a headline show at the Empire Music Hall in Belfast. Part of the monthly Gifted Live showcase gigs, which is are broadcast live online at http://www.giftedlive.com, the evening features the cream of Ulster talent (such as Fighting with Wire and Silhouette) and the Larne/Ballyclare born band are eager to make the event a home-coming to remember, as bassist Michael McKeegan explained when Sunday Life caught up with him.

“It’s always good to be back in Northern Ireland playing and we’re all chuffed to be doing the Gifted Live show as apparently it goes out live online, so we’ll have fans watching from all over the world at the same time as the show is happening, so that’s a new one for us. Also, there’s a ton of other killer NI acts playing as well, so it should be quite a night.”

Currently enjoying life as the God-Fathers of the NI music scene, the iconic act have become one of our most popular and well-regarded exports over the last two decades. At the moment the trio, who are completed by singer/guitarist Andy Cairns and drummer Neil Cooper, are touring the length and breadth of Europe in support of their critically acclaimed 13th album ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’ and Michael reveals that it’s not just the boys’ musical chops which are winning rave reviews these days, it’s their football skills as well.

“Probably one of the highlights of the summer festival season was non-music related,” recalled Michael. “We supported Linkin Park at an old airfield just outside Moscow and as Euro 2012 was in full flow, the national TV channel asked us (jokingly, I think) if we wanted to play in their onsite five-a-side football tournament. We’d just performed an hour long set in the blazing sun, but fancied a go at it anyway, so we joined in. Even though it was a bit hectic, we managed to win the thing, beating Russia’s equivalent of the Red Arrows (no joke) in the final. You should’ve seen their faces getting beaten by us lot.”

“The rest of the festivals were all universally great this year,” he continued. “We’re lucky in that we can appear on quite ‘heavy’ festival bills and then also on more diverse ones with pop and electronic artists. Two Austrian shows with Billy Idol were particularly good and he had a super cool band and crew and we also did a show with Tricky in Luxembourg which was great as I’d never seen him live before.”

This year also saw Therapy? headline the Glasgowbury festival in Eagle’s Rock, Co. Derry and for Michael (whose band helped scores of Ulster acts break into the mainstream throughout the nineties and beyond) topping the bill at an all-local event was a particularly proud moment.

“Glasgowbury was a lot of fun,” he said. “We’d been looking forward to that show for ages and the crowd and atmosphere didn’t disappoint. It was definitely one of the best, most memorable festivals we’ve done over the years and fair play to the organisers for inviting us up. Also, special mention must go to Alan Lynn from LaFaro who was filling in for our drummer Neil, who was on ‘paternity leave’ at the time. Alan did an amazing show with LaFaro, then walked over to our stage and went straight into a 60 minute set with us, pausing only to change his shirt. I don’t think he could walk for a week afterwards.”

With their ever increasing back catalogue quite rightly establishing Therapy? as bona fide national treasures, the band’s genre-straddling, almost un-pigeonhole-able sound has won them followers from numerous sub-cultures, but even Michael confesses he was surprised when it was revealed that British soul singer Any Winehouse was a fan of the band during the recent BBC4 Arena documentary The Day She Came To Dingle.

“I always knew Amy was into a broad range of music but yeah, that was indeed a bit of a shock to hear she’d listened to us as a teenager,” he said. “Likewise, Therapy? were all fans of hers too. She was an amazingly talented artist and her passing was a massive loss for decent music.”

 

Therapy? headline Gifted Live at the Empire Belfast on Thursday, October 4. Tickets cost £10 from Ticketmaster and the gig will be broadcast on www.giftedlive.com

 

Edwin McFee

 





Therapy? Gifted Live

23 10 2012

Following on from yesterday’s post mentioning Therapy?s headline slot at Gifted Live in Belfast, here’s some footage the boys shot of the gig.

If you look closely you can spot yours truly at the left hand side of your screen standing on the raised bit by the twinkly lights, having a wee drink and a head bob.





News From The North Week 111 (Hot Press)

22 10 2012

Here’s a reprint of my NI music news column that runs every fortnight in Hot Press. Yes, there’s a back-log of these.Sozzles!

News

Words: Edwin McFee

By the time you get your grubby little hands on this latest issue, NI’s favourite sons Therapy? will have just finished unleashing their very own day of rockening at the Tall Ships in Dublin. Now, if you read that last sentence and are currently lamenting your decision not to visit Ireland’s capital to see the trio unleash hell itself in the form of barbed riffs and songs about James Joyce doing dirty things with Andy Cairns’ sister, then fret no more faithful readers, as it has literally just been announced at the time of writing that the boys will be playing a headline show in Belfast at the Empire Music Hall on October 4.

 

Topping the bill at the always ace Gifted Live extravaganzas, the gig will be the first time Therapy? have played in the venue since their near mythic date in 2000 and this full-on set should see airings of some of their new material from current LP A Brief Crack Of Light,so it’s shaping up to be a bit special. Also on the bill are Fighting With Wire, the Original Rudeboys, Silhouette, Jason Clarke and Robert Vincent and there will be special recorded appearances from Mojo Fury and more. Admission is a mere £10 and for more info check out giftedlive.com. See you down the front.

 

Next up, well thought of Bangor indie types Kowalski have bagged themselves the support slot on the Cast of Cheers’ upcoming Irish tour. Kicking off in Whelan’s, Dublin on Sep 19, the rest of the dates include Roisin Dubh, Galway (Sep 20) Dolan’s, Limerick (Sep 21), the Forum, Waterford (Sep 22), the Pavilion, Cork (Sep 23) and the Limelight, Belfast (Sep 24). The band will also be joining Two Door Cinema Club for seven dates on their European tour this November and for a full run down check out twodoorcinemaclub.com.

 

The organisers behind the immense Belfast Culture Night have revealed some details on this year’s shin-dig (which takes place on Sep 21). The mighty Kasper Rosa, Eatenbybears and Parachutes Over Paris all play a sure to incendiary show at the Black Box in the city and to keep updated on the event visit culturenightbelfast.com.

 

Finally this fortnight, news has just broken that the Answer have inked a deal with Napalm Records. Yes folks, the legendary home of all things loud and lairy now have Cormac and the boys in their stable and in a group statement they said:

 

“We’re very excited to be given this opportunity and can’t wait to get started. 2013 belongs to THE ANSWER…you heard it here first!”