The Cooper Temple Clause - Make This Your Own
Matt Harrold 12/01/2007
Let's face facts; those genre melding, atomic rift deploying masters of schizoid alternative rock, The Cooper Temple Clause, really didn't get the recognition they deserved post “Kick Up the Fire, And Let the Flames Break Loose” from the general public. Critically it was a big hit, a welcome counter point to the likes of the Strokes with their stagnant musical evolution but it never hit it off with the music loving mainstream at large.
It took the Coopers three years, their bassist Didx jumping ship and a record label move to come up the follow up, the third installment of the TCTC music-scape 'Make This Your Own'. So has the wait been worth it?
Opener 'Damage' come across as an attempt to take TCTC into the mainstream and whilst it's offset by the more aggressive tracks like 'Homo Sapiens' both fail to capture the out and out ballsy anger that was contained on earlier singles in their career like “Panzer Attack.” Nor the mixture of delicate fineness and steroid injected rifting as was found in “Blind Pilots.”
Vocal duties are shared this time around, allowing Dan Fisher and Tom Bellamy to take step up the mic. 'Waiting Game' with Dan Fisher sounds like Placebo going down on Snow Patrol whilst 'All I See Is You' uses Tom Bellamy's singing to lure the listener into a false sense of security before bursting ear drums with Ben Gautrey's more familiar punk snarl.
Previous TCTC albums mixed Radioed inspired electronic with nerve shredding riffs and off-kilter prog post rock sounded like it was barely being held together by duct tape, providing a heady mix of raw energy and a surprising amount of depth. 'Make This Your Own' seems to find the band separating out the parts to give everything a cleaner sound. Which whilst dropping us into an alternative reality to meet a twisted version of New Order on 'Head', one of the albums highlights, it's left a lot of the tracks feeling a little anemic when compared to usual TCTC output. Combined with a mixed bag of lyrics there's little chance for individual songs to build up. “Homo Sapiens” being a classic example, starting off with a kick arse first verse before being castrated with the line "Let me curl myself into a ball before you let me understand" which just seems throw away in comparison to the rest of the song.
Listening the Coopers was cathartic, an out let for any internal angst without turning to emo and becoming intimately acquainted with your own rectum.* 'Make This Your Own' though feels like a classic case of dropping a fair amount of what makes an act unique in the music industry for up front accessibility in a mission to shift units. Whilst you can't begrudge any band for wanting to earn a living, it's a sad day when one of truly exciting modern bands cash in artistry for cold hard cash.
*GIITTV zine takes no responsibility for any emo kiddies trying