Therapy ? ‘Baby Teeth’ [Wiija Records]
You probably wouldn’t trust Therapy? to baby-sit your little sisters and brothers. And you’d be right.
They’re that kind of band ;- psychotic dog-trashcore noise terrorists who rip ears and emotions right apart, usually in the one-band breath. Therapy? come to us from Larne, but this is straight out of Husker Du’s Minneaplolis via Rapeman’s Washington and Pixie’s Planet Sound. It’s also got touches of grunging Tad and extreme Sonic Youth.
And one other thing :- it should be rather huge.
With Irish pop currently chasing it’s tail in raggle-taggle and jangle guitar circles, Therapy? [and Fatima Mansions and Whipping Boy] shine like beautiful arclights in a hailstorm. Something like ‘Dancin’ With Manson’, for instance, has the same evil ring as ‘James Joyce Is Fuckin’ My Sister’ [sadly left off ‘Baby Teeth’], but has so much blood, sweat and energy that it’s impossible to sit still while it revolves around your room. And while it’s over-easy to lose sight of Therapy? in a hail of gore and horror adjectives, they do actually secrete tunes by the bagful behind the wall of noise.
On ‘Baby Teeth’, Andy’s voices are buried deep in something like a very typical Steve Albini ‘shit-mix’, the prime-focus taken by Fyfe’s enormous snare and Micky’s epilepticly-fingered bass. ‘Meat Abstract’ and ‘Punishment Kiss’ you already know but ‘Animal Bones’ and ‘Loser Cop’ even out-do them here. This is brutal, graphic noise-pop with no compromise.
With Jane’s Addiction and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers finally eating into American pop’s mainstream, who knows but Therapy? might well be the sound of a chaotic nineties chartshow. Right now.
This review originally appeared in Hot Press magazine in July, 1991, on the release of what was Therapy?’s first [seven-track] album of sorts. Using the Hot Press ‘two dice’ system of rating new releases, I determined this to be between ‘very good’ and ‘intoxicating’, and granted it a score of ten out of twelve which, under that system, meant the record was ‘exciting’. Which it most certainly was.
My thinking was very simple :- Therapy? were an ace live act but, on record, were still very much a work in progress.