Release Date: Feb 24, 2004
Record label: Morning / RCA
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
Cooper Temple Clause have always tended to exploit their shaggy good looks rather than their experimentalism. Their pioneering spirit was left lurking between the heavy-handed rock and simplistic indie-pop of last year's debut - but for its follow-up, the Reading sextet have reinvented themselves, producing the first great album of the new prog revolution. Forget Gallagher-aping vocals and hesitant melodies: here they are Led Zeppelin with better choruses and a flexible mischief.
By combining elements of metal, pop, jazz, and electronica, the Cooper Temple Clause create a broad album that is subtle and meticulous as well as driving and bombastic. Songs like "The Same Mistakes" have a distinctly post-Radiohead sheen -- spare, experimental arrangements, hazy, emotional vocals, and live drums that mirror programmed beats. But in other moments -- "Promises, Promises," for example -- the band unleashes sinewy and abrasive all-out rock & roll that references everything from Primal Scream electro-garage rants to slippery Faith No More hard rock and the grandiosity of Oasis.