It’s been a bit of a watershed year for Belfast metallers Therapy? 2009’s, Andy Gill produced, “Crooked Timber” saw something of a renaissance and reappraisal of the trio after several years in the wilderness, plagued by countless record label difficulties and, let’s be honest, some terrible records. However, there’s always been a steel about Therapy?, a “no one likes us, we don’t care” mentality that has endured and sustained them and their fans. A stunning and triumphant return at this year’s Sonisphere Festival, playing their most acclaimed album “Troublegum” in its entirety, has seen the band firmly re-established in the metal fraternity. Even two power cuts couldn’t spoil a performance that the rapturous crowd were busy raving about all weekend.
The release of the live double disc, “We’re here til the end” seems like a good place to draw breath and look once again at why we liked this band in the first place. “We’re here til the end” was recorded over three nights at the London Water Rats Theatre in March 2010 as part of their 20th Anniversary celebrations.
Before you ask, they’re all here. All the tunes you love and many tunes you’d forgotten you loved. From the ridiculously catchy ‘Screamager’, the epic ‘Turn’ a punchy and up-tempo ‘Diane’ and the anthemic (and personal favourite) ‘Die like a Mother Fucker’ this is a riotous gallop through a pretty enviable back catalogue. Therapy? have not always been everyone’s favourite band and their bubblegum metal has not always hit the spot but theirs is an economy of song-writing par excellence and their fierce addiction to “the tune” is a quality that Hüsker Dü (who they clearly adore) would have been proud of. I’m not lazy enough to use phrases like “peak of their powers” but “We’re here til the end” does showcase the band in fine and vintage fettle. The crowd even play their part for the inevitable and infectious singalongs.
Live albums have a certain notoriety, particularly in heavy metal circles. Usually vacillating between genuinely legendary recordings (m’lord, I present Iron Maiden‘s “Live After Death” as witness for the prosecution) and shameless, anodyne, will-this-do cash generators (has anyone actually heard “Seven Days Live” by Poison all the way through? Exactly.)
“We’re here til the end” is not going to add to the canon of genuinely great live albums but neither does it have the odour of a cynical cash in. As an introduction to one of the UK’s most underrated bands, its an exemplary place to start. It does not quite give you the visceral rush of seeing Andy Cairns and co live but as a quality souvenir of what was clearly a cracking night out in London town, it’s pretty hard to beat. No one likes us, we don’t care? Not a bit of it. We still like you Andy, and we still care.