I do feel a bit sorry for whoever was running A&M records in 1994. It must have been very strange listening to the latest album by Northern Irish band Therapy for the first time. It must have been a very “what the hell do I do with this?” moment. 14 tracks that blend punk rock and metal soaked in pop sensibilities. However you want to look at it “troublegum” is just plain weird.Therapy are a bit of an anomaly in British rock/alternative music. I struggle to think of any band that manages to write the kind of music that they do. Also the fact that they have never split up, kept a fairly constant lineup and still to this day produce some of the best music to come out of the UK.
“Troublegum” is the band’s most successful and has the biggest pop vibe (not meaning to do it any disservice). Pop might even be the wrong word. The track “screamager” is a great example. It’s got energy and melody and you find yourself singing along. Then you stop and think about what you are actually singing and feel a little bit ashamed of yourself. For all it’s bounce and melody “Troublegum” is a dark, dark album. When you get past Andy Cairns mountain sized choruses and listen to the lyrics you realise how dark it actually is.
“Troublegum” is a very insidious album that creeps up on you and before you know it it’s lodged deep inside your brain. Play it through once and I can safely say that you will know it well enough to sing along to by the next play. The thing that I find still find surprising is that even after all that it’s still heavy. The sonic clout of songs like “trigger inside” is mind blowing. My personal favourite is “stop it you’re killing me”, an absolute banger of a track. If you hear the opening line “the world is fucked and so am I” and not smile then there is something wrong with you. The album ends with the most disturbing rendition of “you are my sunshine” that is genuinely unsettling and the perfect way to pull the rug out from under the listeners.
I cannot recommend this album enough and if you do fall in love with it then for god sake check out their back catalogue as you will be letting yourself in for a seriously wonderful time