The Cooper Temple Clause,
Make This Your Own
Reading noise terrorists lose bassist and edge? No, not the guitarist for messiah-rock dullards U2, but the thing that made them dangerous. Yeah, that's right, dangerous. There's nothing on Make This Your Own that can rival "Been Training Dogs" for sheer intensity, and Ben Gautrey's caustic rasp has been cut right back, in fact, they've gone a bit, dare I say it? Snow Patrol.
Even when the non-linear funk-rocker "Damage" kicks off the album in full-blooded style, there's still a sense of overproduction marring proceedings. Many tracks stray too far into MOR power ballad territory, particularly the hubristic (is that a word? Oh well.) "Waiting Game" and the Keane-esque closer "House of Cards", which only redeems itself slightly with the addition of nice overlapping vocals and horns.
Elsewhere, "Head" and "Isn't It Strange" are brave attempts at burbling electro that falter somewhat with their rather cliched and listless lyrics, and "Take Comfort" sounds a bit like "Pass It On" by The Coral. To say this album was a shock to this reviewer would be an understatement quite frankly. But, it's not without it's charms, "Homo Sapiens" has the Bends-era Radiohead crossed with Oasis sound that they're known for and that they're good at, and "Once More With Feeling" is a ridiculous, bizarre, brilliant mini-epic that sounds like "Paranoid Android" condensed into three minutes. Also, "Connect" is a decent slice of Delays style indie disco.
The Cooper Temple Clause have always been an experimental band, but with this album, it sounds like their experiments have led them into a rather weird territory, and they come out of it at times sounding like a vaguely electro 10cc. Maybe the genius of this new sound will hit me six months down the line, and I will change my opinion and proclaim them the best thing to happen to music since Lennon met McCartney, but for now, I will give this album a very cautious thumbs up, and regret that it is probably their poorest effort to date.
Check out some snippets from the new album here