Rating:
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Therapy? - Crooked Timber
23 March 2009


01. The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself
02. Enjoy The Struggle
03. Clowns Galore
04. Exiles
05. Crooked Timber
06. I Told You I Was Ill
07. Somnambulist
08. Blacken The Page
09. Magic Mountain
10. Bad Excuse For Daylight


From the Northern Irish madmen Therapy? comes Crooked Timber, an album that is bound to turn some heads this year. Those primarily familiar with the band's more mainstream-friendly releases such as Troublegum and Infernal Love will be in for a bit of a surprise. The reason for this is that Crooked Timber presents an entirely different side to the band, one that has been hinted at before, but never achieved with such consistency.

Listening to this music is like rowing a boat in an acid trip. The band conjures atmospheres associated with various images but it is up to the rhythm section to propel us through them and ground us in a groove. Like the hits of the paddles and the sound of the water resulting from them, Neil Cooper's drums and Michael McKeegan's distorted bass lines are the only constant that keep Andy Cairn's tales of human quirks and appropriately quirky guitar passages from turning Crooked Timber into a bad trip. Instead, they imply direction and allow for experiencing the thought streams explored by the band. It also comes as no surprise, particularly in tracks like "Exiles", "Magic Mountain" and "Bad Excuse For Daylight", that dubstep was a major influence for the band's sound this time around. Anthemic refrains take a back seat to rhythmically challenging shreds of sludge, resulting in music that is heavy and hypnotic. Nevertheless, songs like "Clowns Galore", "Crooked Timber" and "Somnambulist" will still inspire the listener to frantically sing along with them; however, I guess if you're in a boat you do need a few of those "Row, row, row your boat" moments...

Crooked Timber is an album that inspires with its abandon for hypnotic rhythms, vivid guitar textures and hallucinatory atmospheres. It is heavy, nuanced, well balanced, memorable and as a result - a very good trip indeed.


Band profile: Therapy?
Album: Crooked Timber


 



Written on 27.04.2009 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
More reviews by jupitreas ››



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S.K.Ø.M - 27.04.2009 at 06:17  
Great album indeed...one of the best releases of this year so far....its almost like masterpiece to me ....
Thryce - 28.04.2009 at 14:40  
Somehow I keep experiencing this album as one of Therapy?'s darkest releases to date (undoubtedly the passing of Therapy? tour drummer and founding member of Skyclad, Keith Baxter, had a hand in this too). Very diffuse and almost inaccessible album on the first couple of spins. Yet the familiar Therapy?-cachet is still there. Really solid and highly-mature release for sure... but not recommended to everyone.
jupitreas - 28.04.2009 at 16:50  
Written by Thryce on 28.04.2009 at 14:40

Somehow I keep experiencing this album as one of Therapy?'s darkest releases to date (undoubtedly the passing of Therapy? tour drummer and founding member of Skyclad, Keith Baxter, had a hand in this too). Very diffuse and almost inaccessible album on the first couple of spins. Yet the familiar Therapy?-cachet is still there. Really solid and highly-mature release for sure... but not recommended to everyone.


I think Suicide Pact was a slightly darker album although admittedly, Crooked Timber is pretty somber as well...
Trinity Blood - 01.05.2009 at 01:39  
I agree with Thryce...it it's a highly mature release but imo it is amazing...def not as catchy as troublegum but i've grown to love it...personal favorites are clowns galore, exiles, crooked timber
fade - 15.10.2010 at 20:34  
I agree with Jup that SP was a lot more darker, but CT really has me back as a fan because this album reminds me so much of their older stuff _before_ Nurse. The classic album with the Blade Runner intro.

I really enjoyed Troublegum and Infernal love, but I became bored with them after that and I just did not want to pick them again until the last few years.

I've seen them live several times in the past and always had a great time. I remember them opening for Swervdriver way back when...

Good review Jup!
BudDa - 29.11.2010 at 13:03  
Listened to this on Sunday and Today again. I have grown to really like it. Am not familiar with any of their previous album but this one works for me

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