Infernal Love


A&M, 1996

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Therapy? has always had the influence of 80's hair-metal in its music, and the band paid a wonderful homage to this influence by creating one of the most creative punk records ever ( Troublegum) out of it. With the follow up Infernal Love, Therapy? takes that influence to a completely different level, making a mockery of punk music and putting itself in an inevitable danger of being called punk misfits.

This aside, Infernal Love is another great record by the Irish trio.

Infernal Love is basically an 80's hair metal record, with the intelligence of 90's rock. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Troublegum was an angst-ridden punk record, with quick three-odd minute numbers being shot out from the stereo speakers like bullets from a rapid-firing automatic gun. Infernal Love, on the other hand, is more structured and less chaotic.

This record is full of moments of unassured shock for first-time listeners who have not had previous exposure to the band's music through Troublegum or Nurse. The first sting of the shock (and a very mild one) comes with the appearance of saxophones on track two, "Stories." It doesn't get any better and in fact becomes really bad when the following cut, "A Moment Of Clarity," starts off with an atmospheric piano-hook, similar to an ambient-trance number. The song then develops into a hair-metal number that has its hair trimmed short and nicely combed, with clothes that are wisely chosen.

Infernal Love acts and behaves like a moody concept album. The tracks are interconnected by random sound bites, with the production work as neat and tidy as it could be. Unlike the ones on Troublegum, the cuts on Infernal Love vary in styles and are less agitated. The violin-driven ballad "Diane" or the semi-industrial "Bad Mother" are revelations of the band's talent in belying stereotyped expectations in a respectable and commendable way. The "faster" numbers of the record -- like "Epilepsy," "Stories," and "Loose" -- have similar qualities to the ones on Troublegum, with the exception that these tracks are more appealing because of the all the fancy production-work adorning them.

Therapy? has honestly tried its best to create a follow up to Troublegum that is completely different from it in every respect. Infernal Love is an enfant terrible of punk music and is even a disgrace to punk. It is also the worst possible kind of follow-up to any phenomenal punk record - but is, however, truly an amazing rock album. It is undeniable that Therapy? can never create another record of the brilliance of Troublegum, but an album like Infernal Love assures that the band is still capable of making great music.

Rating: A-

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