Therapy? at Sin City, Swansea, October 14, 2009
Therapy? are a band from the proper school of rock. They come from an era when Kerrang! had real rock bands in their magazine and not what I've recently heard as being dubbed 'bubblegum rock'. Time was it that these unmentioned bands with straightened hair and make up would have been laughed out of the metal industry but they have somehow crept in and become the mainstay.
With Therapy's line up only being a three piece, they knock the socks off most four or five piece bands and leave them flat on the floor. With a quite psychotic sounding vocal Andy Cairns is a seasoned and commanding front man. He dedicates the song 'Die Like A Motherf*cker' to Gordon Brown, showing a political side that most bands don't even bother with. Therapy? Are a breath of fresh air in a music scene of mass homogeneous, meaningless music, that's more concerned with looks than content. Ironic you might think, given they've been around for twenty years.
The songs from Troublegum don't sound like they've aged much at all, and you can hear the bands influences and the bands who have been influenced by 'Therapy?' since. With the two tracks from the new album 'Crooked Timber' they're sounding as good as ever. As a live entity, the songs 'Exiles' and title track 'Crooked Timber' come across brilliantly. The former is heavier than a herd of elephants, with thunderous bass and clever drumming. Andy's vocal is mournful and adds to an eerie sounding song. The latter is another grinding song, with rhythms that burrow into your mind and leave you tapping your toes. The repeating bass riff with Andy's harmonics is very seductive, adding a drumbeat with plenty of toms in the chorus giving the song loads of edge.
What's so good about 'Therapy?', especially live, is how danceable the music is. It's very heavy and thunderously powerful yet everywhere you look there are nodding heads and tapping feet. I can only describe it as being an anvil that bounces, big and heavy yet surprisingly agile. They close the night with a cover of fellow countrymen The Undertones' 'Teenage Kicks'. Long live 'Therapy?' the no nonsense rock gods.