The Cooper Temple Clause – Kick Up the Fire, and Let the Flames Break Loose (CD)

The Cooper Temple Clause has no idea that brevity is a good thing, with their average song being over five and a half minutes. As such, Loose doesn’t have songs as much as it has pieces with individual movements, demarcated when The CTC decide to go on a different tack. The Spartanness of the beginning of “Talking to a Brick Wall” moves into a Placebo/Oasis style of vocals, supplied by Ben; the entire track seems to me to be an aural rehash of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”, down to the distorted drum beat and the sultry vocals put out. Plodding like no other, “Into My Arms” is like a slowed-down Elliott Smith and John Maher tracks, dreamy vocals meeting with sparse guitar sturmming and hints of a mouth-harp. Losing a little due to the sheer length of the track, “Into My Arms” would benefit by a syncopation, if not a tweaking of the tempo, for it seems to be contemplative to a fault. The insinuation of the track with industrial-overtones just makes “Arms” all the less cohesive.

Moving back to the sound of “Talking”, Ben in “Blind Pilots” uses a slightly more snotty, Kurt Cobain-esque vocals to provide a contrast to the chorus during the chorus. Some individuals uses the term “Shapeshifter” when talking about The Cooper Temple Clause; instead, I believe that the band is just trying to branch out in all possible directions so as to not leave out any possible fanbase. When one gets down to the specifics about the band, they are bound to be slightly disappointed, as the Coopers are just another Brit-rock band, with aural fireworks and googahs thrown out to obscure listeners from finding that little fact out. As such, we are left with a band tat collects all the musical innovations of the last decade and tries to pass them out on their own; “A.I.M.” is just as much of a aural doppleganger as “Talking”, but this time rips off U2’s “Hold Me, Touch Me, Thrill Me, Kill Me”.

There is nothing that really stands up as a peak to “Loose”, with a number of the tracks all congealing to create one large mess. While popular media may be creaming themselves over CTC, there is nothing that reaches me as particularly endearing. Still, with the current popularity of bands like Radiohead and Coldplay, chances are that the Cooper Temple Clause will get some American success.

Top Tracks: Music Box, The Same Mistakes

Rating: 4.4/10

The Cooper Temple Clause – Kick Up the Fire, and Let the Flames Break Loose / 2004 RCA Records / 10 Tracks / http://www.rca.com / Released 24 February 2004 / Reviewed 21 March 2004

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