Back Where They Belong
In 2003 it looked as if the Cooper Temple Clause were about to become the next big thing with well-received festival sets, singles like 'Promises Promises' making a real impact and much expectation from the music press. In fact if their bosses at Sony could have had their way they might have done. However as Ben Gautrey explained to Room Thirteen before Christmas, this would have meant going against everything the band was about so it was time to move on. Read the full interview
Although the split from their previous record company wasn't the sole reason for their vanishing from the face of the earth, it did play a part in the large gap between albums. Aside from walking away from a record deal, the band also lost a member as Didz joined Dirty Pretty Things.
So now they're back, with an album which sees the Cooper Temple Clause in more varied mood than ever. The recording process for the record took them to a place they'd never been before as they approached the song writing with a much more stripped down attitude and this has succeeded in making this a record more focused on it's melodies. That said it also features some of their heavier songs to date meaning that 'Make This Your Own' is the most interesting LP of their career.
The force with which opening tracks 'Damage and 'Homo Sapiens' hit you give the impression it was a mighty relief to be concentrating on making great music and not having distractions from elsewhere. 'Damage' is an energetic, anthemic slab of rock that is the perfect way to begin the record. 'Homo Sapiens' was the first single and it's power really got people talking about Cooper Temple Clause once again.
'Head' is one of a few tracks that has an eighties electronic underbelly and although it at times has a Genesis feel to it, it sticks to the initial heavy rock theme to the start of this album and could do well if chosen as a single. The electronic influence is also clear in the softer but no less catchy 'Connect'.
Given the exposure 'Waiting Game' is currently enjoying it's natural to pick this as one of the album's highlights, however it deserves to be loved by as many people as possible as Cooper Temple Clause have delivered a brilliant main stream rock track with this song, which does still remind me of 'Trash' by Suede which is far from a bad thing. 'Waiting Game' will certainly be a stand out moment as the band hit the road to promote this record, but another fantastically catchy track 'Isn't It Strange' is one I'm especially looking forward to seeing them play.
The menacing 'Once More With Feeling', suggests a softer approach as it begins, however this track builds to a heavy climax before leading into 'What Have You Gone And Done', which gives 'Waiting Game' a run for it's money for the prize as the most catchy main stream track on the record.
The softer tracks on the album appear in the second half, the stand out of which is 'Take Comfort'. This acoustic driven gem is likely to appeal to those who maybe haven't been into this band before.
'Make This Your Own' seems to have been lost amongst high profile releases from some of the current music press favourites, but for me it's up there with the best of the bunch of early albums in 2007.