What happened? You were on the cusp of great batallion
crushing glory in the mid nineties. But then as if deflected
by the bright lights and your own love for Husker
Du, you were prevented from becoming the band you
always threatened to be.
And now? In the changed musical climate of the naughties
where the rock scene is embracing it's male posturing
side once again?
The new single "Gimme Back My Brain" is pleasant enough,
a pacey hybrid of an AC/DC meets Joey Ramone type rocker,
but it won't force musical history to be reassesed.
But that said, that's not their style. The extra tracks
on the CD, however, more than make up for the underwheliming
lead off track. Even Cairns is on record as saying:
“Yeah, it does sound quite Ramones-ish …. it wasn’t
written as a tribute or anything, in fact it was written
before Joey died - but they’ve always been a favourite
… “ .
Apart from a lacklustre version of ABBA's paean to
female lust "Gimme Gimme Gimme", there is a terrific
version of The Stooges, "Gimme Danger" and an engergised
trawl through "Gimme Nyquil All Night Long".
Remembering what a good job the band did on Bob Mould's
"Diane", perhaps cover songs is where the future lies
for Therapy?. Bring on the "Pin Up's" style LP.
Some say the release last year of ‘So Much for the
Ten Year Plan - A Retrospective 1990-2000’ put a natural
lid on the past for Therapy?:
“We’re very lucky to be in the position where we have
a ten year history, but are still making new music which
sounds as fresh and exciting as anything else we’ve
done in the past” says McKeegan. “We’ve still got the
energy and enthusiasm to get out there and go for it”
The gigs were brilliant because there were old fans
there who had maybe not heard the last couple of albums,
and new fans who weren't so familiar with the old stuff
but both seemed to really get into it”.
At the London dates the band certainly seemed to go
down well – with the bar taking over £100,000 over the
three nights - the dubious honour of the most ever collected!
After writing and demo-ing 20 new songs before Christmas
2000 the band were keen to start recording straight
away, keeping everything fresh. This found them flying
to Seattle in the first week of January to meet up with
producer Jack Endino:
‘We wanted to make a really guitar based, punk, rock
‘n’ roll album, and Jack knew how to get on record the
sounds we had in our heads” explains Cairns.
Amazingly, this was the first time the band had recorded
outside the UK, and Endino was an inspiration having
worked with almost every band to have come out of the
city and the ‘scene’ (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Tad, Screaming
Trees, Afghan Whigs, Soundgarden, Babes In Toyland …).
‘Shameless’ was also recorded in just 6 weeks:
“We made records like Teethgrinder in 1992 with dance
and techno influences, now we just want to make pure
rock records, that sound great live. We’re older now,
we don’t write about teenage angst, we’re more positive,
up …. but it’s still powerful”.
Report & Review by Priya Elangasinghe