Nobody – well, at least nobody I know – expects much from Therapy? these days. They pretty much earned their crust in the 90’s, with songs like ‘Screamager’ and ‘Trigger Inside’ making them a bit of a household name for a while, before they faded out of the mainstream consciousness. They’ll always have a loyal following, but I bet even they would tell you that things recently just haven’t been the same. Indeed, I found ‘Crooked Timber‘ to be lacking, the sound of a band who hadn’t necessarily given up, more just doing what they please – which isn’t a bad thing in itself – it just struggled to impress.
‘A Brief Crack of Light‘ faces the same problem. It breezes through its ten tracks in a reasonably short amount of time, but never really gets out of second gear. The lead off single that kicks off the album, ‘Living In the Shadow of a Terrible Thing’, is a decent slice of rock action, and other tracks like ‘Before You, With You, After You’re and ‘Stark Raving Sane’ are to the point and deliver catchy riffs and choruses. At other times, the album feels like its drifting when it should be ploughing ahead. ‘Marlow’ is an upbeat instrumental but feels too much like backing music for a video game for my liking, and the album seems to mellow and dwell too much when it ought to have some sort of energy to it.
The mainstream lost interest in Therapy? ages ago, so its only right that Andy Cairns and co choose their own path. All in all though, ‘A Brief Crack of Light‘ is likely to only excite a relative few, and newcomers to the band at this stage of their career aren’t likely to get too excited by this. It’s not a bad album but the shadow of their glory days still looms – whether they care or not.