Therapy? – Cleave album review

Irish icons Therapy? wring a diamond from our current grim reality with Cleave

Therapy? Cleave cover

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Therapy? Cleave cover

1. Wreck It Like Beckett
2. Kakistocracy
3. Callow
4. Expelled
5. Success? Success Is Survival
6. Save Me From The Ordinary
7. Crutch
8. I Stand Alone
9. Dumbdown
10. No Sunshine

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Informed by political and personal divisions, the spectre of Brexit and the evergreen appeal of downtuned, neck-bothering riffs, the impossible-to-pigeonhole Northern Irish icons’ 15th opus is a rallying cry for this draconian age. 

Re-teaming with Troublegum producer Chris Sheldon, the 10-track effort is both lean and meaty at the same time and laden with arresting rhythms, cathartic lyrics and skull-cracking guitars. 

Fans who enjoyed the feral, rampant riffola of 2004’s Never Apologise Never Explain will especially enjoy Cleave, and the likes of the bullish Wreck It Like Beckett and the combative Dumbdown already sound like pit anthems. 

Elsewhere, the Ulster punk-flavoured Callow and the anthemic Crutch illustrate their skill at crafting mainstream-bothering choruses, while Success? Success Is Survival is the album’s finest track and splices together the best bits of the band’s near-30-year history.