The 15th album by Northern Irish punk rockers Therapy? is also their first live recorded album. Weighing in at a hefty 36 songs and coming in at just over 2 hours in length, it’s a solid look at the band’s back catalogue. Recorded over a three day residency at London’s Monto Water Rats venue, the album takes the strongest songs from these dates and puts them together in one package. Although it handpicks tracks from different sessions, the album doesn’t lack in continuity and ultimately flows together nicely, completely glossing over the fact it’s not one sole performance.
For hardcore Therapy? fans it will be a must buy record as the band’s entire career is covered here. Old singles such as ‘Teethgrinder’ and ‘Meat Abstract’ sit comfortably alongside more recent singles such as ‘Rain Hits Concrete’ and ‘Crooked Timber’. It’s testimony to Therapy? that their most recent songs have retained the stylings of the early 90s material without sounding dated or contrived.
The standout performance on this album has to be the crowd. They sing every single word back at the band and create an electric atmosphere that is so good it gets picked up by the microphones recording the show. You get a strong sense of what the gigs must have been like to be there from the crowd participation. Songs such as ‘Die Like A Motherfucker’ and ‘Church Of Noise’ are made by the crowd singing along with the band. They are so loud at the beginning of ‘Die Like A Motherfucker’ that they match frontman Andy Cairns, despite him being the one assissted with the microphone.
Of the three days, there were four songs discarded by the band. They chose not to use ‘Lonely, Cryin’ Only’ and ‘I Am The Money’ due to performance issues, and they also discarded ‘Ten Year Plan’ and ‘I Told You I Was Ill’ due to being unhappy with how the recordings sounded. Only leaving out two songs due to being unhappy with their performance highlights how well Therapy? must have played over three nights to be comfortable to include songs from any show; a true showing of their professionalism.
While this album won’t be setting the charts alight, it will make a lot of the die-hard Therapy? fans very happy with its release, and an essential edition to their music collection. A very solid release from a band showing that although they are veterans, and that they can still hold their own live aside their younger competitors.
Written by Josh Peett