Therapy? - Troublegum (Cover Artwork)


Troublegum (1994)


This album came out when I was 12 and I remember my mom wouldn't let me get it because she didn't approve of the song titles, so I bought it anyways. Therapy? definitely weren't a punk band, but this is their most punk-influenced album and if you haven't heard it, it's definitely worth a listen.

The album opens up with "Knives," and after hearing this song you know you're in for an interesting ride. With lyrics such as "I'm gonna get drunk, come round and fuck you up" and "I wanna crawl up inside you and die," you can't help but wonder what's going on inside singer/guitarist Andy Cairns' head. The album continues on with "Screamager," which displays the band's pop sensibilities, but dives right back into the darkness with "Hellbelly." Therapy? dabble a little in politics with "Stop It You're Killing Me" and radio-ready pop with "Going Nowhere."

The middle part of the album is definitely the weakest but most sinister "Trigger Inside"and a solid cover of Joy Division's "Isolation" keep things interesting. The album closes on a strong note with "Unrequited," which features some really cool cello work, and "Brainsaw," which may be one of the best closing songs on a record I've ever heard; it really sums up the experience you've just had and does it on a level that a lot of people could probably relate to at some given point in their lives. I'm usually not all that big a fan of hidden tracks, but the one on this album is quite effective in my opinion.

I still listen to this record to this day and I still enjoy as much as when I first got it; however, some of the lyrics come across as cheesy to me now, which probably has to do with my age, and some of the song structures are a little too simplistic. Overall, though, this was the high point of Therapy?'s career with good production, sequencing and musicianship. If you're easily offended you probably don't want to hear this album, but even though it may come across as cheesy at times as I mentioned, it is still one of the darkest and angriest records I have ever heard. One more thing that doesn't really matter in regards to the quality of this album--it has always kind of bugged me when a band with only one guitar player records a bunch of songs with two guitar parts, because you just know it's going to be disappointing live. But whatever--this album rocks. A definite classic in my book.