A Brief Crack of Light

1. Living in the Shadow of the Terrible Thing
2. Plague Bell
3. Marlow
4. Before You, With You, After You
5. The Buzzing
6. Get Your Dead Hand off My Shoulder
7. Ghost Trio
8. Why Turbulence?
9. Stark Raving Sane
10. Ecclesiastes

Andy Cairns – vocals, guitar,
Neil Cooper – drums
Michael McKeegan – bass, vocals

Babyteeth (1991)
Pleasure Death (1992)
Nurse (1992)
Troublegum (1994)
Infernal Love (1995)
Semi-Detached (1998)
Suicide Pact – You First (1999)
Shameless (2001)
High Anxiety (2003)
Never Apologise Never Explain (2004)
One Cure Fits All (2006)
Crooked Timber (2009)


Produced by Adam Sinclair and Therapy?
Nigel Rolfe - artwork concept/photography
Tom Hoad - band photography
Michael Surtees - design/layout

Released 6/2-2012
Reviewed 25/2-2012


A band not really sure of what they are called, is it Therapy? I have reviewed this band before with their live album released for their twentieth year as a band, I was not too ecstatic about that album but I am not a fan of live albums and while researching that I came across some material from the previous album Crooked Timber which I found very interesting and much more so than the live album that I reviewed. Crooked Timber was also well received by both the press and the fans which puts a little pressure on this album despite the fact of the band being on the decline since reaching their top in the mid nineties with albums like the cleverly titled Troublegum. Despite declining popularity in the mainstream the band still retains a loyal and good fanbase. This album looks interesting on the looks of it, the album cover is brilliant and the title which is Borrowed from Nabokov is also quite clever, a reflection of life in a way.

Musically it is sprung from a root of something like grunge and a touch of stoner rock, it is however quite an atypical style of such with touches from many different areas and many musical adventures taken them down many different paths. Thing is though that it is excellently produced and keeps within a soundscape that makes the song feel connected despite them being very different in character. You could say that the album is a crack at variating their music, I suppose it is more suitable for people other than the band’s fans unlike the prior album I reviewed by this band. Another interesting thing is that they have kept it rather short despite the variation with 41 minutes of music and ten tracks making up that total.

So, what about this album then? Well, it is good, very good. Another thing it is is clever with many cool and interesting musical adventures. It starts in a way that is not only very good but also a good summary of what you can expect on the album, powerful rhythms, good energy and great singing in the track that is also the advance single of the album called Living in the Shadow of the Terrible Thing. It is an excellent start the first track but it is not the best track, I mostly enjoy the tracks The Buzzing, Before You, With You, After You and Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder, these are quite brilliant track and all rather different in character as well. And unlike some reviewers I have read about this album I find this big variation and the diversity of songs is a real strength as it does not become incoherent due to the coherence of the soundscape of the album. It is a fascinating listen as it doesn’t make you tire of it as the variation makes you hear new things every time you listen to this album.

So, any weaknesses? Well, what I see as a strength that is the variation is by some reviewers seen as a weakness so it is that, but I prefer an album more varied than the planets of the solar system over one that is completely unvaried and as the soundscape keeps it well together I don’t agree so for me there is not real weakness of this album but at the same time I can understand that some have problems with the variation. This is because some people doesn’t like music that requires you to listen and actually think about the music which you need to do with this album. So, for me there is not real weakness of this album which is great.

Nabokov said that life is a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness and for many life is many eternities of darkness and in such a prospect this album might be a brief crack of light. Therapy?




Label: Blast Records/Global Music/Sound Pollution
Three similar bands: The Wildhearts/Terrorvision/Prong
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

read in english

Previous reviews:
Vomitchapel - Damnatio Ad Bestias
Karnak Seti - In Harmonic Entropy
Malrun - The Empty Frame

Previous articles:
The Rockford Heroes