Therapy?

We're Here to the End

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Rowdy Northern Irish trio Therapy? may have slipped under most people's radar since threatening to gatecrash the whole Brit-pop party in the mid-'90s, but they are still capable of pulling off the kind of raw, raucous, and mosh pit-inducing shows that briefly made them Kerrang! poster boys all those years ago, as evident on their first ever official live album, We're Here to the End. Released to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary, the generous 36-track collection, culled from their three-night residency at London's Water Rats in early 2010, luckily avoids the often derided tendency to concentrate on their most recent studio effort (only five tracks from 2009's Crooked Timber do make the cut) and instead provides a casual fan-friendly greatest-hits set with material from all but one of their ten studio albums (only 2001's poorly received trash-rock effort Shameless is ignored). Produced by vocalist Andy Cairns and mixer Adam Sinclair, the two-CD track list blisteringly rips through their extensive back catalog, with performances of songs from their two early film-sampling mini albums, Babyteeth and Pleasure Death ("Meat Abstract," "Potato Junkie"); their commercial peaks, 1994's punk metal-based Troublegum (their riotous cover of Joy Division's "Isolation") and 1996's cinematic Infernal Love (their rendition of Hüsker Dü's "Diane," here given a menacing metal makeover); and 1999 dark-themed fan favorite Suicide Pact: You First ("Sister") and 2006's highly polished One Cure Fits All ("Our White Noise"). Clocking in at over two and a half hours, We're Here to the End begins to feel like a chore once you get past the halfway mark, as do Cairns' continuous midsong crowd interactions, while the muddy recording quality often turns their anthemic driving metal into plodding pub rock. In a case of "you had to be there," fans who attended the gigs will undoubtedly treasure this as a keepsake souvenir, but while it's an admirably career-spanning track list, everyone else would be better off with 2007's Music Through a Cheap Transistor: The BBC Sessions if they want to hear the uncompromising headbangers at their best.

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