Ah, now this is more like it and make things worthwhile. This is what we need more of to make this whole business worthwhile. Mere days after getting that Violet Ultra CD, thereís the ploppage of the new Therapy? album Suicide Pact - You First landing on the floor. Nice to receive an album that I wouldíve bought, thus saving me some money. And what a great title. I mean, according to the reviews and whatever that Iíve read, itís a return to the Babyteeth stylings. Oh please. Semi-detached was great, I mean, they donít put out duff shit in my opinion, but I would love to hear more Babyteeth stylisms. How about playing Punishment Kiss live again? Go on, you know you want to.

And this is certainly a scuzzier, rawer collection of music than theyíve put out for a long while. But the thing about Therapy? is that theyíve always been able to marry the noise with a subtle melody to create an enormous hook to a song. The chorus to album closer Sister is a prime example. Itís so simple, itís like Therapy? have been churning it out since they were in their nappies, but it is so effective.

Thereís hints of Sabbath flying through this album to my mind, riffs descended from the guitar of Iommi, mixed in with the more abrasive noise elements of Big Black. Such as the bastardisation of Children of the Grave that appears on Hate Kill Destroy or the progression through Ten Year Plan. And with a title like that you can maybe read into the current mind and thoughts of the band. Even through to the presentation where theyíve reverted to the days of no lyrics being printed. Work them out yourselves. Almost like itís a little darker and you donít need to have your hand held to get through this. The addition of Martin McCarrick to provide cello as well as extra guitar of course worked on Semi-detached. And it does so here, but as there is this harking back to the earlier days, then this time round it adds an even darker more sinister edge. But again itís used sparingly. You could easily overplay a factor like that to draw attention to the band, but they manage to avoid such a pitfall.

Opening track Heís Not That Kind of Girl isnít that different in a way to say Church of Noise. Not in construction. Thereís a quirky riff, Andy does his Evil Elvis vocal, bringing to mind the style from Epilepsy off the Infernal Love album. Itís just that the main riff when it crashes in is so much dirtier. Being a non-musician, I canít describe the difference. I guess to me I would say this sounds like itís on a cheaper distortion pedal than your fancy "I can play anything perfectly after hearing it twice" mate has. You know the one whoís so worried about the perfect harmonics and all the pretentious bollocks. When sometimes the cheaper stuff just sounds well ... better. Thatís how it is hear. Itís rawer, cheaper. Better. Then thereís a little jazz like break which is quite gorgeous. Played on guitar, itís just all suddenly mellow. Bit like the first time you heard a nice relaxing ska/reggae break in a rock/punk track. It sounded great, different. Then of course everyone and his uncle did the same thing and it became boring. But those first couple were great. Much like this.

God Kicks is all dark dark dark, the haunting cello sound coupled with an ominous spoken word, while Other Peopleís Misery is a sub two minutes kick to the bollocks. Hard, fast and twisted. On the other hand Six Mile Water is Therapy? doing their spartan thing. Some call them ballads, but in a way itís debatable if Therapy? have ever done that. Theyíve done these ones that spare the distortion and throw in the mournful cellos. But thatís a different thing surely? Besides, they also do it well. And I could swear thatís a Madonna er, riff?!? being bastardised at the start of Little Tongues First. I could be wrong. Itís definitely a familiar thing. Not that Iím familiar with Madonna. Well not in that. Or that way either. Theyíre gonna love the chorus, chanting suicide pact.

Big Cave In has a few little guitar licks that do bring to mind the Babyteeth era, but itís still kind of wrapped in more modern Therapy? with a hint of Sabbath. Well thatís what I reckon. And no vocals. So thatís good then.

Of course I hate hidden tracks, and Therapy? have gone and put one on here for which there is no forgiveness. The annoying thing is itís damn good and moody. But you have to fastforward through 10 minutes of silence to get there, and I hate that. Cheap lazy gimmicks. Donít know if itís the bands fault or record labels, but I really hate the concept. Much like the idea when CDs were still catching on of giving you a "bonus track not found on the LP". Cheap cheap ploy. But hey, thatís the music industry for you. Doesnít give a fuck about the customer.

Itís easy to say that Therapy? have "comeback" and all that crap. Truth is they havenít done a duff album yet in my opinion. This is no exception. Itís no Babyteeth. Itís simply different to that which theyíve put out the last few times.


Tribes of Neurot - Grace

Iím intrigued, Iíve got to admit it. This "play 2 CDs simultaneously to gain a whole new lisening experience". Iím intrigued. Iím a sceptic. I like Neurosis. Tribes of Neurot are always tougher. This could be great. It could be shite. It could be utter "artistic" pretentious bollocks ... though at itís purest of course. I dunno. Iím intrigued. I have a sense of trepidation.

Anyway, the CD comes with instructions. I pop the Neurosis CD into the computer, the ToN into the hifi - itís the only way I can have a two CD setup. They say to experiement with volume settings, and placement of the speakers, and also the timing. Well, the positions are set, cos I ainít lugging the computer all over the fucking room. Timing - how quick can I move between the Ďputer and the Ďfi. Theyíre off, about a second apart. Iím impressed. With the speed I moved I mean.

Does it work? What does it do? I dunno. I have to try and explain this with reference and respet to the Neurosis album. It does sort of work. The focus is drawn away from being entirely on the Neurosis album, kind of where that gets quiet, sounds are drawn in from the Tribes. Thereís commentry that accompanies some of the seques that are on the Neurosis album, and as for example End of The Harvest builds to itís climax, so the Tribes just add a little something. Sometimes itís almost just like static being added, other times the heavy is made heavier, and melodic more melodic. Sometimes itís the complete opposite. What it does remind me of more than anything, is the live gig and how everything was just somehow linked together. I donít really know that I can explain this, because it is different each time. Only slightly, but those timings mean that it will be different. Is it good? Jury is out on that. Itís different. I do think itís pretentious. Would it make Neurosis more approachable for non-fans? Hmmmmmmmm? Yeeenoah. Thatís yeah and no in case you were wondering. Bizarre, and probably this set is only for the Neurosis fan.