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Classic Album Review: The Cooper Temple Clause | Kick Up The Fire And Let the Flames Break Loose

The ambitious British electro-rockers' reach continues to exceed their grasp.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


The Cooper Temple Clause are one of those bands that always seem to be trying just a little too hard.

Their name seems to have one word too many. And how about that album title? Kick Up The Fire, And Let the Flames Break Loose isn’t exactly a phrase that rolls off the tongue. Nor, quite frankly, does its aggressively incendiary imagery jibe with the decidedly cerebral nature of their music. These Brits specialize in the sort of overwritten, moodily textured, painfully stylized electro-rock that might work if you’re as daring and original as, say, Radiohead, but just sounds pointless and pretentious if you’re not. And they’re not. I’ll be the first to say that there are some great hooks, choruses and probably entire songs buried somewhere in the lethargic grooves, claustrophobic production, open-ended arrangements and unengaging noodling of these long-winded tracks. But damned if I have the patience to sift through all this muck for them. Next time, guys, try not to try so hard.