Album review

The Cooper Temple Clause :
Kick Up The Fire, And Let
The Flames Break Loose

Morning Records

The Cooper Temple Clause : Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break LooseI think we have a winner! Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose is quite simply the best album I've heard in a long, long while.
    The band's 2002 debut, See This Through And Leave, was of exceptional quality and got my vote as album of that year. Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose takes everything forward like a band on the move should. The creative muse has not just been present, he/she/it has been hanging out with the band, sharing the JDs and coming up with some sublime music. In short, this band is on fire.

Alright, enough of the superlatives. It's clear that The Cooper Temple Clause have exorcised the need for intense full-on guitar mangling and re-grouped in an altogether more considered and, dare I say it, sensitive camp.
    The aggressive psyche-rock is still there with Promises, Promises exploding into life with its staccato machine-gun riffing, and the masterly A.I.M. delivering an aural work-over to break the peace in any neighbourhood.
    Album opener, The Same Mistakes, on the other hand, offers a feeling of palpable desperation, while the beautiful and haunting harmonies of Into My Arms finally break down into a disquieting mechanical maelstrom, empathising with the torment of recent loss.
    Blind Pilots steps forward as a heart-felt indie-rocker where the wheels have finally come off a relationship that had been careering out of control.

It's not all misery; some of it is strange too. New Toys strays onto a patch like Radiohead's Kid A electronica and comes out with a twisted smile on its face. Talking To A Brick Wall meanders through John Barry themeology before exploding into a space-rock epic, while Music Box revels in a disturbed grindcore suffused with electro-beats that fade into a scary atmosphere of clockwork Victoriana.
    Talking of scary, the short but not at all sweet In Your Prime is the musical and lyrical equivalent of an establishing sequence for stark forensic psychologist drama, Cracker. The intensity wraps itself around you like a straight jacket and delivers you directly into the clutches of the final epic Written Apology. This is a ten minute descent into a delightful, demented Aphex Twin playground of mutated electronics. And there it ends.

This level of inventiveness and emotional turmoil could only come from deep within. That both elements are so well met within the words and music is testament to a band working as one.
    I wondered how The Cooper Temple Clause would deal with the follow up to their debut. Now that I know, it only makes me nervous that something this good also has to be followed up at some point.

:: Tom Alford

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