A Brief Crack Of Light


Blast Records, 2012


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


As a remnant of the ‘90s alternative rock scene, Therapy? has ceased being in the musical limelight long time ago since the heyday of their Troublegum years. Despite this, they have always been a band that has tried to keep things fresh by being fluid with their music and by never holding on to one particular style. But over the years (and over some lineup changes), these Irishmen have chugged along just fine, releasing albums at a pretty brisk pace. With my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 A Brief Crack Of Light, twenty years after the group’s very first release, it seems as though the band has no intention of giving up yet.

Therapy? has been one of the few champions of rock music that not only has the gall to incorporate elements of pop in their music, but also make amazingly elegant rock songs out of this combination, all the while seeming completely at ease with themselves while doing so. On A Brief Crack Of Light, the band continues with this trick and never for a moment sounds jaded. Tracks such as “Living In The Shadow Of The Terrible Thing,” “Plague Bell,” “Ghost Trio,” “Marlow,” and “Why Turbulence?” are prime evidence of the band’s strength: crafting rock songs that are sharp as a blade but also bouncy and fun because of their pace and pop music dulcoration.

Apart from the aforesaid tracks, however, the rest of this record tries to make decent numbers out of nothing. There isn’t much of a song in any of these cuts and are most nearly musical versions of gibberish, meandering hopelessly towards nothingness. But the masterful production and mixing on these cuts makes the warbling randomness of each instrument sound beautiful and titillating, thus making some sonically exciting numbers out of them. Nevertheless, an exception to this is the concluding track “Ecclesiastes.” With its robotized vocals and trudging beats, even the stellar production work cannot make a surreal masterpiece of this clumsy hypnagogic cut.

AJ Cairns and his outfit do sound past their prime, but they still have plenty of energy and smarts in them to create a pretty darn kickass record. These guys won’t be quitting anytime soon.

Rating: B-

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© 2012 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Blast Records, and is used for informational purposes only.