SPENDING their summer supporting the likes of The Black Crowes and Bruce Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling, is a huge indicator to what The Temperance Movement have in store for us on their self-titled debut album. The record is nothing short of mesmerising, leading the listener down a dirt track of soulful blues, rock and ultimately, roll.
Fans, and indeed those with The Temperance Movement’s EP will be familiar with opener Only Friend, a track which opens up the first of the influences strongly engraved on this album, The Black Crowes. Our first introduction to lead Phil Campbell’s rusty, whiskey-soaked vocals is nothing short of tantalising. Only friend is as lonely as the solo riff that fittingly opens the track. And lyrics “trouble was my only friend” has a clever way of endearing you to the band in the first few minutes.
And the band, are some-what of a super-group. Fronted by Glasgow-born Campbell, the five-piece features Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick on guitar Jamiroquai’s Nick Fyffe on bass and Damon Wilson on drums. Getting together for a joint love in music, the band have created a vintage sound to be proud of.
Ain’t No Telling has an infectious melody- the guitar taking the lead on this one. And when the lyrics disappear for the guitar solo mid-way, the song takes American rock ‘n’ roll by its bare chest and demands The Temperance Movement space in the room.
Slowing things down, 2012’s EP title Pride is gentle and shows another level to Campbell’s tone and depth of his voice. This is a nice buffer in-between the rocky tracks opening this album and shows a softer side to the band.
Be Lucky has a beast of a riff, slow, tempting and almost Small Faces- it is scratchy and smooth all at the same time. The first ten seconds of this track sends you into a compelling trance, and its lucky then, that the rest of the song is just as strong.
Midnight Black is 1970’s rock- think The Stones and The Black Crowes of the 1990’s. It demands you to catch its beat, driven by the fast-paced drum which is beautifully complimented with the strong guitar riffs.
Chinese Lanterns is sad and vulnerable. Lyrics and pace making it a strong love song which again like, Pride, is great to see coming from the band that do a fast-paced track so well. A new track for the album which is sure to go down well as a ‘lighters in the air’ track in their live set.
Know For Sure is when you realise that this thirteen track album is going to be hard to put down. It’s a saucy melody that, when met by creative riffs, wraps up all The Temperance Movement’s influences in one. Campbell’s lyrics are again devastatingly good in this one. Almost like he’s picked up the mic after a heavy night, un-phased by lack of sleep and showing us just what he’s made of.
Morning Riders has that dirty riff opener that is becoming signature to this record. True to its soul, this track is raw and brilliantly old school rock ‘n’ roll blues.
Lovers and Fighters is delicate, soulful and from the heart. Like something jammed together by The Eagles in the 70’s, the lyrics pound into your heartache and rise it to the surface. That’s when music is power; when it evokes more than feeling or an emotion- it slices into your darkness.
Take it Back powers into your eardrums making sure you don’t forget it. With it’s pounding drum beat and harmonies it wakes you up from the quietness of Lovers and Fighters and does more than any of the proceeding tracks on the album could. It’s strong confidence shakes you and wakes you, making you feel like you need a good wash after listening to it. It’s dirty, rocky and in your face with the bass doing the job adding some grit to this impressive song.
Smouldering offers another taste of The Temperance Movement taking a shot at easy, pleasing love. This is a good song, but without the love affair between Campbell’s vocal and the listener, could be easily forgotten.
Serenity – shows Campbell’s vocals in a new light. Singing higher and in a lighter more vulnerable way, he serenades the listener through the solid verses to the intoxicating choruses.
Only Friend returns again, this time a rehearsal version which treats fans to this signature Temperance Movement track which has been taken up a level. It’s rustier and more brooding- the guitar riding you through a dirty lick that is complimented with a whiskey-soured vocal from the star of the show, Campbell.
The Temperance Movement have blown fresh air into old school rock ‘n’ roll. Staying with traditional musical formations in many tracks, the band have evoked a sound that is signature to them whilst maintaining specific influences from the rock ‘n’ roll and blues greats. Raw, organic and rough around the edges ensures this is the kind of record that’s sure to be around for years and years…… and years.
Words: Nadine Walker
Watch The Temperance Movement TTV Session HERE