Trying to describe the sound of The Cooper Temple Clause is like trying to corral a 7-year-old who just ate an entire bag of Halloween candy. Oasis kidnapped by Nine Inch Nails and forced to sing karaoke to ear-shattering industrial tunes? The lovechild of Kurt Cobain and Placebo tinkering with Radiohead-ambient electronica and adventures in vocal-cord shredding? In fact, the English sextet's mind-exploding U.S. debut and second album, Kick Up the Fire and Let the Flames Break Loose, is both. Festering with roars and slinky noir mood pieces, the album is intricately wrought chaos--much like the extremities the band reaches live. At a recent Boston show, the Ministry-isms of "Panzer Attack"--from their debut, See Through This and Leave--turned into a heart-pumping beats-per-minute assault more appropriate for a high-energy discotheque, and Fire's "Promises, Promises" jackhammered with riffs lifted straight from city workers themselves. Yet "New Toys" coalesced like a music box tinkling in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and Leave's "Who Needs Enemies?" slurred like a jazz number played at the sketchiest bar in the city. Difficult to digest, sure. But utterly intoxicating? You bet.
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