Out 23rd March, Therapy?’s first recording for new label Amazing Record Co., Disquiet, comprises 11 tracks of charged, in-your-face, bruisingly melodic punk/metal. A sequel of sorts to the band’s million-selling 1994 album Troublegum, it is by turns confrontational, challenging, vengeful and venomous, a visceral and utterly compelling document of a confident band operating at the peak of their powers. Produced by Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood/Band of Skulls/Turbowolf) at Blast Studios in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it’s both the most accessible record Therapy? have made in two decades, and a reaffirmation of their healthy respect for noise, chaos and unsettling psychodrama.
“We wanted to write something a bit more anthemic again,” explains vocalist/guitarist Andy Cairns. “In May last year we did a 20th anniversary tour for the Troublegum album, and it was completely sold-out – it was great hearing those songs sung back at us, and seeing what they meant to people. Clearly it would be idiocy for us to attempt to recreate Troublegum, because that was a different era and a different band line-up, but the starting point for this album for me was thinking ‘What would the protagonist of Troublegum be doing twenty years on?’ Our last two albums [2009’s Crooked Timber and 2012’s A Brief Crack of Light] were more experimental and diverse, and we already knew that he wanted to go back to more ‘song’-based stuff this time around, so that conceptual idea dovetailed perfectly with what we planned in terms of the musical direction.”
Outsiders from day one, Therapy? have drawn upon the attendant feelings of alienation, frustration and dislocation for strength and inspiration across their remarkable 26 year career, crafting a dark, idiosyncratic worldview which has garnered the group a reputation as one of the most uncompromising, creative and individualistic bands of their generation. The tightly wound punk-metal of Troublegum propelled Therapy? into the UK Top 5, sold one million copies worldwide and spawned no less than five Top 40 singles (‘Turn’, ‘Nowhere’, Die Laughing’, Trigger Inside’ and ‘Screamager’, the lead cut from the 1993’s Shortsharpshock EP), landing the band a Mercury Music Prize nomination in the process.
Disquiet, the band’s fourteenth studio album, extends this proud legacy, and finds the trio of Cairns, bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Neil Cooper in incendiary form.
“In constructing Disquiet we went back to the old-fashioned way in which Troublegum was written,” explains Cairns, “whereby I’d take my guitar, play a song, record it on my phone and then send the song to the guys ‘finished’, in terms of lyrics, melody and guitar chords. We started with 19 songs, recorded 18 of them and then worked with Tom [Dalgety] to select the ones that best represented what we were trying to do with this record. And we’re genuinely delighted with how things have turned out.”
From the brilliant, brutalist wake-up call of snub-nosed opening track Still Hurts (“Each year, it gets worse. It won’t stop, still hurts”) through to the aching, end-of-the-world desolation of closer Deathstimate (“The road ahead looks shorter than the one behind…”), Disquiet is Therapy? at their sharpest and most focused, a weighty, undeniably powerful and emotionally affecting body of work which both builds upon the band’s acclaimed catalogue and opens up new creative horizons. Updating the angst-filled Troublegum story with searing honesty and no little wit, it’s a fascinating, bold and belligerent set of modern rock anthems which stands toe-to-toe with the finest albums in the Therapy? canon.
“I don’t think the album’s protagonist is a happier man,” Cairns muses, “but I think he’s a more capable man in terms of dealing with the world than the guy who wrote Troublegum was. Troublegum was largely impotent rage, whereas Disquiet is more… considered anger. We’re very proud of this album, and we feel that it’s another step forward on our musical journey. Now we just can’t wait for people to hear it…”
Therapy?’s UK tour in support of Disquiet runs late March through April 2015. Dates as follows;
FRIDAY 27TH MARCH BRISTOL – THE MARBLE
SATURDAY 28TH MARCH GLOUCESTER GUILDHALL
TUESDAY 31ST MARCH BRIGHTON CONCORDE 2
WEDNESDAY 1ST APRIL LONDON SCALA
SUNDAY 12TH APRIL PORTSMOUTH WEDGEWOOD ROOMS
MONDAY 13TH APRIL CARDIFF – THE GLOBE
TUESDAY 14TH APRIL READING SUB 89
THURSDAY 16TH APRIL BIRMINGHAM RAINBOW WAREHOUSE
FRIDAY 17TH APRIL NOTTINGHAM RESCUE ROOMS
SATURDAY 18TH APRIL MANCHESTER ACADEMY 2
SUNDAY 19TH APRIL LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
MONDAY 20TH APRIL NORTHAMPTON ROADMENDER
TUESDAY 21ST APRIL NORWICH WATERFRONT
THURSDAY 23RD APRIL GLASGOW ORAN MOR
FRIDAY 24TH APRIL NEWCASTLE ACADEMY
SATURDAY 25TH APRIL COVENTRY KASBAH