Therapy? – “Meat Abstract” From 1991’s Babyteeth (Wiiija Records)
As far as statements of intent go, this is a fine one. The opening track on their debut EP, “Meat Abstract” showed that right from the beginning Therapy? knew what they were up to. Blending noise rock and drone metal with punk, non-standard drum patterns and named for a disturbing piece of art by Helen Chadwick they were taking influences from strange places and melding them together into a perfect noise. That immediate slicing, snapping drumbeat sets the strange groove up before the Bladerunner sample, “wake up… time to die” lands and the song takes off. Big buzzing, distorted guitars drone and the bass rumbles through like a diesel engine, while the cymbal and snare hits race along as if trying to get away and the opening vocal, “no-one knows the trouble I’ve seen” slides in without ceremony.
The overall effect is a hypnotic cocoon you can lose yourself in, especially before the second verse where the bass carries through a noise rock section gifted with trick stops, before the guitar comes buzzing back in. All the while that snapping drum work just keeps pushing things forward. Still a live staple to this day, “Meat Abstract” is the first step in an ongoing journey that favours reinvention and experimentation over taking the easy option.