Album Review: Therapy? – Hard Cold Fire (Marshall Records)

By: Jesse Striewski

One of the hardest questions I’m often asked is who my “favorite” band actually is, and when it does come about, the rolodex in my mind typically tends to stop on Therapy? (I’m sure this is probably not the first time I’ve made such bold statements about them in print before, either).

Having to wait five years in between albums was completely worth it the minute “They Shoot the Terrible Master” kicked in, and it was abundantly clear this was old-school, punk-inspired Therapy? Sure there might be a throwaway track or two (see “Mongrel” or “Two Wounded Animals”), but the tracks that work here, really work.

Numbers like “Woe,” “Joy,” and “Poundland of Hope and Glory” are all catchy enough, and songs like “Ugly,” “Days Kollaps,” and, perhaps my favorite of the bunch, “Bewildered Herd,” already feel like “classic” Therapy? to me despite being completely new. To still be composing music this damn good all these years in is a testament to what an absolute brilliant band Threapy? are.

Do yourself a favor and give Cold Hard Fire a listen instead of selling yourself short with something like say, the new Godsmack album; I promise you it’s absolutely worth it.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Book Review: So Much For the 30 Year Plan: Therapy? The Authorized Biography By Simon Young (Jawbone Press)

By: Jesse Striewski

Believe it or not, when asked who my personal favorite band is (as if it’s even that simple to narrow it down to just one in the first place), my mind usually wanders to little-known (in the States, anyway) Irish rockers Therapy?. Ever since the day a middle school friend/bandmate of mine slid me a copy of the band’s then-new album at the time, Infernal Love, I’ve been hooked. There’s just something so engrossing about them that I found so much more relatable than any other band before or since, and still do to this day.

So when I heard there was a biography dropping about them, of course I had to get my hands on it right away. And while as a writer myself, I’m envious of Simon Young for beareing the task, it makes perfect sense for someone with as much firsthand knowledge and experience as him to pen their story. Young does a a fine job meticulously detailing the band’s entire career, beginning with their early, humble D.I.Y. foundations, all the way up until present day.

However being on the more obscure side, I could see how someone not familiar with the band might get lost in the plethora of information here. While I might personally find stories like how the group landed their first record deal fascinating, I can understand why a newcomer might be somewhat turned off. But even if you are completely new to Therapy?, you might be able to still enjoy the read if you go in with an open mind.

It might sound somewhat strange, but reading So Much For the 30 Year Plan gave me an odd feeling of familiarity that brought me back to my own days of covering such songs as theirs as “Screamager” and “Die Laughing” in my very first garage band so long ago. The fact that a band oversees, whom I’ve never even seen live (though I did once write a letter addressed to the band which frontman Andy Cairns promptly replied to, which I still have framed to this day) can have such a profound impact on my own life, has got to say something about them. Even if this article is your first introduction to Therapy?, do yourself a favor, and look them up a.s.a.p., you might just be glad you did.

Come to think of it, I don’t believe I ever did thank Andy for taking the time to write me back all those years ago. Thanks man, you have no idea how much that meant to me.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars