7 April 2013

The Cooper Temple Clause - See This Through And Leave

Once they were kings.....well maybe kings for a day.  Back in 2002, the name The Cooper Temple Clause was everywhere for a little bit.  Some people were just trying to big up this band to be more than what they seemingly deserved.  They had came out of nowhere in some fields, they were on the same label as Westlife and 5ive (if you need to know, these were two boy bands who were big at the time) and this album was released by the record company as it could afford to do it with the extra cash it had.  For a few people I know, these guys were hated just for daring to pick up an instrument.  For years I have steered clear, not due to the sound or hating them - just because there were more important things to do, like listen to Frank Zappa albums.  But I needed a band who I have not heard much by for today's blog, so why not these guys....

Hailing from Wokingham, Berkshire in the UK these guys treaded a path through the more long drawn out side of indie.  There were a little too light to be metal, a little too rocky to be loved by NME, a little too electronic for the rock crowd at the time - they were just not quite right for any one crowd and too different to be loved by everyone.  What is interesting about this band especially listening to them now over 10 years after the event is how much they sound right for now.  The production of the album is still as crisp and could have been released last week.

Musically this is album just seems to keep on going and sometimes it doesn't go anywhere.  Songs like "Panzer Attack" and "Let's Kill Music" start of well, but they have one riff which is extended over 4 minutes and just jog on the spot in someways.  Then you get really long numbers like "Digital Observations" which take you on a musical journey and actually go somewhere.  Same is the case with instrumental "555-4823" which is a brilliant noise track in the middle of the drone.  When this band goes right, they deserve some of that early praise that they got.  However, when they get it wrong it is pedestrian and dull. For every moment like "The Lake" (the album's stand out track) you get "Panzer Attack" which makes this a very hard record to love.

To quote the band from the song - Please believe me when I say this is how it has to end (quote from the excellent final track of the album before the bonus tracks "Murder Song" - when this album comes to a close, I arrive at a strange place.  Whilst not being a great (or even good album), there are more moments on here which make me curious enough to check out their other albums (hopefully they might have improved. I very much enjoyed this when it brings the ingredients together; however the other half of the album lets the band down.  There is too much contradiction for the album to progress above meh and that makes this so frustrating.  I have a feeling that this might become an album that I will get at one point, but there I have a feeling that I might die trying. In the words of one of my friends - le sigh......

5 out of ten -
It could have been a bit better

You can purchase from here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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