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Pop - Released January 1, 1994 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
A high watermark of early alternative metal, Troublegum is a spectacular, powerful, clutter-free record. Densely packed at 14 songs in 40 minutes, there's sharpness on every level, demonstrating that the promise evidenced on Nurse was no mirage. Chris Sheldon's job on the boards provides separation among all the instruments, avoiding the mashed effect from Therapy?'s previous outings. Fyfe Ewing and Michael McKeegan basically do what they've been doing all along as a rhythm section, but the increased clarity really allows for one to fully appreciate their abilities. Andy Cairns' vocal range and ear for melody increase tenfold, and his guitar takes on countless tones and textures only hinted at before. Detractors might claim that the riffs are too predictable and too "metal," which is somewhat understandable but ultimately unfair. One could call them simple, and one could call them focused; it's more the latter. Since the songwriting is more direct and less concerned with merely knocking things out and stopping after three minutes or so, everything is fully formed and completely realized. It's the absolute opposite of aimless, which is something Therapy? was sometimes guilty of. There's much more variety, too. With each play, it becomes increasingly obvious that no two songs sound much like each other, yet each song hangs together to form a singular piece. Metal-phobes can't help but give in to the irresistable pop-punk hooks of "Screamager" and "Nowhere." An obvious influence is acknowledged in a storming version of Joy Division's "Isolation," which pays tribute and transforms at the same time. "Unrequited" can't be missed, featuring a rattling guitar riff that gets yanked away by a violent cello tug from Martin McCarrick. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Ark 21 Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1992 | Virgin EMI

An expanded recording budget does wonders for Therapy? for their first proper studio record, released by new label A&M. But rather than record with a label-approved producer, the Irish band opted to go with their soundman to provide a grunge tinge to their punishing noise. So the band's fans rested easily knowing that Nurse was more than their band being courted off by the fairy princess, only to return a mutated band for the worse. Nurse expands on the basic gist of the Caucasian Psychosis compilation, benefiting from further focus on Michael McKeegan's bass and Fyfe Ewing's drumming. It still sounds dark and insular, but it casts off the lo-fi sludge factor that hampered the preceding EPs. Andy Cairns' lyrics don't develop a great deal, remaining straightforward and sometimes awkward. Aside from the line "Forget Columbus/Lost your culture," "Disgraceland" fails in societal commentary with its topical namedropping. But overall, the underlying theme of the record is "You're messed up, but I'm in worse shape." Everything tends to steam by, most notably on the "Ace of Spades"-like drive of "Accelerator." But where Nurse really hits its stride is when the trio doesn't play on top of each other, like on the screeching insomniac dub of "Deep Sleep," one of Therapy?'s best overall moments. Since Nurse is somewhere between the amateurish early compilation and the polished sounding, more melodic Troublegum, some Therapy? fans would argue that this is their best overall record. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1998 | Virgin EMI

If you convinced the staff at the psych ward to let you out after listening to Infernal Love for two weeks straight, you might have caught wind of Therapy?'s fourth studio record, released two years later. The U.S. branch of A&M opted not to release Semi-Detached, so odds are pretty good that some of the band's stateside fans found out about it much later on. Since Therapy? made no signs of crossing over into the rap-metal territory that was just beginning to prove profitable, the U.S. decision-makers likely felt that the band was no longer marketable. Infernal Love's drab tone didn't help, though. Nonetheless, Semi-Detached deserved more ears upon release. The band would later admit to lacking direction and focus while recording it, but you really wouldn't know that when listening to it. Fyfe Ewing abandoned ship prior to recording, replaced by Graham Hopkins. Martin McCarrick, who had supplied cello for the band, was added as an official member on guitar and strings. Whether or not the transitional nature led to a perceived state of haziness is up for debate, but it's pound-for-pound a fine record. It's not as harrowing as Infernal Love, and it registers as 12 songs rather than a thematic slab. A return to defiantly anthemic melody is present, but there's nothing overtly poppy. The guitars gnaw and latch on. Andy Cairns' usual subject matter remains, but the songwriting is at its least clichéd. It's no masterpiece, but it's probably their second or third best record -- hardly something to fret over. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 20, 2015 | Cooking Vinyl

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 13, 2020 | Marshall Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | Ark 21 Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 5, 2010 | Blast records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 18, 2009 | DR2 Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 21, 2018 | Marshall Records

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Rock - Released April 15, 2016 | Amazing Record Co.

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2019 | Marshall Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 25, 2018 | Marshall Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 19, 2010 | DR2 Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 7, 2010 | DR2 Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 23, 2009 | DR2 Records

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Rock - Released October 30, 2015 | Amazing Record Co.

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2015 | Amazing Record Co.

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Rock - Released March 23, 2015 | Amazing Record Co.

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Therapy? in the magazine
  • Connecting with the devil
    Connecting with the devil For three decades now, Therapy? have asserted themselves as an untouchable marginal group. It’s a position that gives them a solid and faithful fanbase who are in love with their non-conformist spi...