SOMEWHERE IN PORTLAND, Therapists are stuck in a tiny box of a recording studio, supposedly where the Kingsmen recorded "Louie Louie." The four-piece punk band are recording a song for a future split 7-inch of Portland punk groups that will be released on Mutant Party Records, with Mean Jeans, Chemicals, and Leaders also contributing. "It's a crazy clusterfuck of hungover drunks, myself included," said Jon Barron, guitarist for Therapists, via text message.
I was set to interview the band at the studio, but the engineer doesn't want any more people around—he already had more than a dozen hungover punks on his hands. Barron asked me to email him the interview questions, which he would answer and get back to me. So I did. I waited, and I waited. And... nothing.
Little is known about the history or details of Therapists. From the scraps of information I was able to gather, we know that Adam Hess is the bratty, crazed lead singer, and apparently a repeat felon, which makes it difficult for the band to play any shows in Canada. Rodrigo Diaz is the very humble and polite drummer. Louie Hernandez is the slick, leather jacket-wearing bass player. Barron is the guitar player, and founder/booker of the annual DMMR BMMR and SMMR BMMR punk/garage festivals, as well as playing drums for a hardcore band that he says makes him feel like a teenager again.
Thankfully, their music speaks for itself. It is primal, O.G. punk rock steeped in classic, early hardcore roots. Their songs, most of which fall under the two-minute mark, are punctuated with adrenaline-fueled doses of speed that could stir up a pit in an instant, as evident on "Fuck You Dog." The self-deprecating "I Don't Like Myself" is a mix of sung-spoken lyrics in the vein of Suicidal Tendencies and searing, mid-tempo riffing that closes out with one of the shortest guitar solos I've ever heard. Therapists do have a sense of humor, though, and they may be the first punk band to ever cover the theme song to America's Funniest Home Videos from the Bob Saget era.
Therapists' brand of punk truly evokes the spirit of Black Flag and Zero Boys, becoming one of my favorite bands in Portland. But they've left me high and dry and teeming with rage. Fact of the matter is, these guys just don't give a fuck. You can't blame a punk for being a punk.