[sic] Magazine

THERAPY? – Crooked Timber

That Therapy? were ever big is a bit of an anomaly. 15 years since they were on the cusp of world domination, the Irish trio battle determinedly on, enjoying the struggle. It now seems odd that their template: dense military, tribal percussion, subterranean bass, buzz saw guitars and barked, furious vocals, ever touched the public heart. In many ways, when they were huge, it was the wrong way round. If anything, Therapys? spiritual home was more akin to Black Flag, Big Black, and the abrasive, live Joy Division tapes. A roar of anger against a cruel, unthinking world.

The new Therapy? worldview is more succinct. No longer headlining huge rooms across Europe, the cottage industry T? do things with a furious efficiency. Born through necessity, the mother of invention, this band hit the stopwatch and compress years of experience and songwriting in a frantic race to the end of their studio time. The compulsion of this music – not made through habit or to fund luxury jets but through artistic requirement; a world where it is harder not to play music than it is to live the life; where this music exists because it must, not because it wants, makes ‘Crooked Timber’ a keen listen. The music is on a leash and reaching for escape. It opens with the pummelling ‘The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself’, and just keeps tunnelling through the Earth to the core.

There are no singles on this album. Just a set of well crafted, compelling songs designed for ears that need to feel guitars screaming in their ear. ‘Exiles’ sounds like the best Joy Division song you’ve never heard. And after that, there is “Somnambulist” which takes millionaire Irish rock stars down a peg, even if it doesn’t demonstrate so obviously. Album highlight through is ‘Magic Mountain’ – 10 minutes of furious prog-metal riffage that sounds like Anvils being thrown from God onto the devout. Crooked Timber is a fine record. And Therapy? need you as much as you need Therapy. Recommended.



For more from Mark please visit The Mark Reed website