- 01 Oct 18
A blistering effort from the northern legends.
With other mid-’90s alt-rockers having morphed into unrecognisable versions of their former selves, it’s reassuring to know you can trust Therapy? to remain as ferociously brilliant as ever.
Cleave – the band’s 15th album – opens with the fierce ‘Wreck It Like Beckett’, setting out the stall for an uncompromising album of propulsive, hard-driving rock. Chris Sheldon’s production is terrific throughout, masterfully combining classic rock riffs with industrial rhythms, rumbling bass and thumping drums. As ever, the mix is topped off with Andy Cairns’ passionate and intense vocals. Amidst the cacophony, Cairns proves he still has a knack for a catchy melody. Nowhere is this more evidenced than on first single ‘Callow’, a blistering slice of pop-punk. ‘Crutch’ boasts more monster power chords, as well as a thrilling chorus. The tune is typical of the brisk pace of Cleave, with few of the songs extending beyond three minutes. There are crushing metal riffs aplenty, courtesy of tracks like the Killing Joke-style ‘Success Is Survival’. Cairns also excels here, oscillating from menacing verses to euphoric choruses. It’s a standout track on a record overflowing with them.
Quite simply, Cleave is a collection of thrilling hard-rock that ranks among Therapy?’s greatest work.