Therapy? Suicide Pact: You First

Word of Therapy's tumble back to the indie ranks generated much hope that the band could continue their chaotic dissection of rock as we know it without the suits demanding another Troublegum. Trouble is that maybe they've gone a bit too loopy for their own good. Suicide Pact covers a lot of territory: grizzled punk, desert rock, math-y noise rock and whiskey-soaked, Tom Waits-ish homages to all that prozac cannot cure. Some of it is good ("Wall of Mouths," "Jam Jar Jail"), some of it sucks ("Big Cave In"), but the major flaw here is that there's just as much good as bad, and many a succession of good tracks ("Ten Year Plan," "God Kicks" and "Sister,") is all shot to Hades by a steaming musical loaf like "Other People's Money." However, it's a good sign that Andy Cairns is back to his old cynical, dysfunctional self —― cue "He's Not That Kind of Girl" for some of the most biting Therapy? lyrics ever, and coincidentally, one of their best songs in years. (Universal)