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Bands to Watch: The Cooper Temple Clause

When the Cooper Temple Clause tried to storm America last spring atthe South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, U.S.immigration refused them entry. But it wasn’t because theagents decided Americans had been subjected to enough post-Oasisrock made by Brits with outrageous shag haircuts and a Herculeanfondness for boozing.

No,the Coopers were turned away because they’d submitted individual visaphotos in which the band members competed to see who could pull thecraziest face. “Because we went to high school together, we’ve stillgot the same juvenile mentality,” says singer Ben Gautrey. “We werequite stupid with our visas this time, too,” says bassist Didz Hammond,referring to their recent stateside trip for New York’s CMJ MusicMarathon. “We made ourselves look like terrorists.”

Happily, the Reading sextet have matured, at least musically, on their second album, Kick Up the Fire, and Let the Flames Break Loose.”Promises Promises” is a big-riffing mosh-pit anthem, while theten-minute closer, “Written Apology,” explores the previously unchartedterritory between Pink Floyd and the Chemical Brothers. Each membercontributes to the songwriting, which could get messy, but their schoolties help maintain perspective. “We’re not sensitive to each other,”says Gautrey. “If someone writes something shit, we tell him it’s shit.”