Happy 20th Birthday Troublegum

TherapyI’m sitting, listening to Troublegum by Therapy?, and I can scarcely believe that today is the album’s 20th birthday. It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve listened to it hundreds of times in the last two decades and it doesn’t sound anything other than fresh and relevant. The soundtrack to my teenage angst is now the soundtrack to my midlife crisis.

From the opening burst of ‘Knives’ through ‘Screamager’, ‘Nowhere’ and the closing refrain of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ the Belfast trio have put together what still stands as a classic of whatever genre – indie rock, pop-punk, metal – you choose to try to stick it in. The riffs are clipped and hard-edged, the lyrics are dark and disturbing and the beats and rhythms pound away at you with a ferocity that hasn’t dissipated with time.

Troublegum was by far the band’s most commercially successful album but they managed this without compromise – the collection here isn’t any softer or more accessible than the rest of their catalogue, rather it’s just a group of such exceptional songs that the record-buying public couldn’t ignore it.

The band hit the road in April to perform the album in its entirety and I can guarantee if you head along to one of those shows you’ll be in for one of the nights of your gig-going life.

Graeme Campbell

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