The early 2000s were an interesting time for music. Before the garage rock rival kicked the music scene in the ass with the raw power of bands like the Libertines and the Strokes, we were largely living in a stale post-Britpop world with “safe” acts like Travis and Coldplay (nothing against either of those bands — I adore Travis and I actually enjoy Coldplay’s debut Parachutes). So where exactly did the Cooper Temple Clause fit in? At the time, they were NME darlings just like the Libertines but like Mansun before them, they didn’t entirely gel with the scene in which they were grouped. People praised the Strokes and the like for their stripped-down garage rock while the Coopers took their cue from bands like Radiohead and again, Mansun. They incorporated synthesizers and samples into their music, a style that would later come to dominate the indie rock scene. But when the Coopers released their first EPs in 2001 they were certainly unique. If you haven’t gotten into this band, I highly suggest checking them out. It’s a bold statement but their 2002 debut See This Through and Leave is right up there with Mansun’s Attack Of the Grey Lantern. Their music is hard, loud and dark — I remember Mojo magazine calling them a combination of Oasis and Radiohead. And yes, they had great haircuts.
The following are some of my favorite Cooper Temple Clause songs:
“Way Out West” (from the Hardware EP)
“Who Needs Enemies?” (from See This Through and Leave)
“Murder Song” (from See This Through and Leave)
“Talking To A Brick Wall” (from Kick Up the Fire and Let the Flames Break Loose)
“Written Apology” (from Kick Up the Fire and Let the Flames Break Loose)
“Connect” (from Make This Your Own)
Don’t forget to check out my piece on the current whereabouts of the Cooper Temple Clause here.