Therapy?

Suicide Pact: You First

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Very unapologetically, Suicide Pact says "Screw you if you don't like me." Shedding any sense of pop hooks, Andy Cairns and company resort to meat cleavers to reel you in. It's a big sloppy mess, which will likely appeal to fans of Therapy?'s older material -- here's hoping they didn't lose them in the tar pit of Infernal Love. Those wanting a return to the tunefulness of "Screamager" and "Loose" will likely be disappointed. It's a warts-and-all record, which means it isn't short of its ugly bits ("Jam Jar Jail," "Six Mile Water"). Cairns' occasional Billy Gibbons-meets-Tom Waits warbling can get tiresome, especially when you're reminded of his fine singing voice. But when they really get their Irish blood pumping, the magic of Troublegum's nastier bits ("Knives," "Trigger Inside") rears its demented head and Therapy? click on all cylinders. Suicide Pact's greatest moment is the last track listed, "Sister"; it's the most rhythmic, bass-driven song on the record. Cairns' guitar allows room for the rhythm section to breathe a little, a rarity. If there's a running lyrical thread to Therapy?'s metallic miserablism throughout their decade-long existence, it's stated in that song: "Sister I'm lost/ And I'm taking you with me/ Wherever I go." Despite growing long in the tooth for a hard-rock band, they're still doing this music better than the majority of their younger ilk.

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