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splendid > reviews > 3/31/2004
The Cooper Temple Clause
The Cooper Temple Clause
Kick Up the Fires and Let the Flames Break Loose
RCA


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "The Same Mistakes"

Buy me now
In the scheme of modern British bands, Reading sextet the Cooper Temple Clause are the King Crimson to Coldplay's Badfinger, a chart-assaulting prog-rock behemoth that decimates earnest sentiment with a relentless barrage of damaged electronics, buckle-up time signatures and free-jazz thrash. Though there's talk of the "new prog revolution", the only other band that can hold a candle to the Coopers in terms of total sonic devastation are fellow countrymen Muse, and even Bellamy and Co.'s megalithic pomp-rock doesn't scale the prog-induced regions that Kick Up the Fires and Let the Flames Break Loose conquers. But with such overarching ambition, there's always a price to pay; although the Cooper Temple Clause pack plenty of celestial firepower and darkwave ambiance into their six-minute movements, by the time they unveil the epic "Written Apology", the sheer compositional weight is too much for a mortal listener to handle. "Promises Promises" and "In Your Prime" are dealt in more digestible chunks, but trade in the same hellacious bombastic as their lengthier counterparts. They've got the brains and the brawn to be the new Led Zeppelin, but whether they live up to their full potential or plod out like Emerson Lake & Palmer remains to be seen.


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