So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Simon Young
Therapy? The Authorised Biography
Reviewed By The Grim Reader
As the world slips ever closer toward further restrictions and the void, the Grim Reader once again finds solace in music. I’ve recently developed a love for retro synthwave, but at the end of the day, I’m a metalhead. Guitars, drums and bass pump through my metal veins giving me a life-affirming lift no other music genre can. Whether it’s the over-the-top theatrics of Iron Maiden, the punishing riffs and throaty screams of black metal titans Behemoth, or lesser-known bands discovered via Bandcamp, metal is and always will be with me. Black (metal) to the future.
One band I’ve always had an affinity for is Therapy? I first discovered them via breakthrough album, Troublegum. The single ‘Nowhere’ blew my tiny mind with its anthemic chorus, big sound and identifiable lyrics. During the early to mid-90s I was an angry, confused teenager. I lacked direction and I had all of the growing pains teenagers do. Troublegum-alongside Nirvana’s Nevermind-got me through this.
Therapy? spoke to me in a way no other band did at the time. Few albums boast a tracklisting without a dud or two. Troublegum-and Infernal Love-are the exceptions. From the angst-ridden Screamager to the wonderful cover of Joy Division’s Isolation, Troublegum is a maelstrom of incredible riffs, but most of all it’s the brilliant songwriting that stands out.
When I heard there was an authorised biography on the horizon charting the band’s journey through 30 years of music, I’ve never hit the pre-order button so damn fast. When it arrived on my Kindle, I put everything to one side and plunged into 30 years of ups, downs, ins, outs, successes and failures and everything Therapy?. To say that So Much for the 30 Year Plan is comprehensive is an understatement. Simon Young has put together-with huge input from the band-an incredible book about one of the hardest-working acts in rock and metal history.
Throughout the book, the band discuss their favourite tracks, the riffs, the album covers, the drugs, the drink, the label changes, the expectations that came after Troublegum and its successor Infernal Love (one of my favourite albums of all time), but through it all there is a raw honesty and brotherhood between band members that few others can replicate. I didn’t think it possible that I could love this band any more than I do, but I was wrong. So Much for the 30 Year plan is life-affirming and any Therapy? fan shouldn’t hesitate in picking it up.
Therapy? recently re-recorded a selection of tracks from their impressive back-catalogue at Abby Road studios and released them via Marshall Records as Greatest Hits 2020. If you have lost touch with this incredible band, or simply wondered what they sound like, this is a good place to start.
This is the easiest score I’ve ever given a book.
5/5 blasts from the past from the Grim Reader.
So Much For The 30 Year Plan
So Much For The 30 Year Plan is the first ever book to detail the life of Therapy?, one of rock’s boldest and most idiosyncratic acts. Written with the full co-operation of the band’s current members—frontman Andy Cairns, bassist Michael McKeegan, and drummer Neil Cooper—this official biography explores the dizzying highs and crushing lows they have experienced while navigating a three-decade-long career.
Featuring extensive interviews with the band and key figures from throughout their career, So Much For The 30 Year Plan offers insights into the band’s origins in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, the backlash they received from the underground scene after signing to a major label, the birth of their million-selling 1994 album Troublegum, the full story behind their split with founding member Fyfe Ewing, and much more.
Published to coincide with the band’s 30th anniversary, this is essential reading for all Therapy? fans—and for anyone with an interest in the alternative music of the era.
The Grim Reader
The Grim Reader resides on the Gold Coast, Australia. A school teacher by day, a lover of dark fiction, heavy metal, Arsenal FC, bourbon and coffee at night.
The Grim Reader loves nothing more than reading and rocking.