The Temperance Movement

The Temperance Movement

Written by: BV on 01/09/2013 22:40:31

The Temperance Movement is a five piece rock n’ soul outfit that essentially comes across as a mixture of early The Band and Neil Young & Crazy Horse mixed in with a hint of recent retro blues-rock acts like Rival Sons. Seemingly utilizing a mixture of crunchy riffs, country-infused chord progressions, confident vocal work and incredibly cool slide-guitar leads, The Temperance Movement seem weirdly unoriginal, yet they maintain an aura around them that doesn’t quite seem all that dated either.

With opening track “Only Friend”, The Temperance Movement infuse their country-esque swagger with vocal work quite reminiscent of that particular 70’s rock-vocal characteristic – rowdy and raw, yet capable of lush, clean singing. The catchiness of the incredibly bluesy riff instantly has me moving my head back and forth to the beat of the tune in a chilled out manner, and I’m quite certain that I’ve already located one of this band’s strong suits – the headphone experience. The experience of just sitting there, relaxing with a beer or whatever and just letting the music take over completely – effectively ruling out everything around you.

The country/soul part of their work however, does seem to come off as extremely overwhelming at points, as we are treated to “Chinese Lanterns”; a run-of-the-mill ballad that, at this point, seems rather like a mandatory country-gesture rather than a perfectly conscious decision. Unfortunately however, this is not where I’d say The Temperance Movement have their strong suits as these particular tracks, the ballads, often seem to revel in their own chill and melancholy, never amounting to really amaze me – nor to maintain my full focus. Granted, The Temperance Movement aren’t bad at writing these ballads, they just seem quite generic to me due to the sheer amount of them, as four slow ballad-like tracks are just a tad too much for my personal taste.

A such, I would much rather prefer songs like “Midnight Black” where the energy level is extremely high and there is a general aura of sheer enthusiasm to it that I can’t help but be affected by. Even though “Midnight Black” is fueled by an incredibly simple riff, I must admit that the general tightness of the group seems rather interesting, as it is often at these higher paces that bands seem to trip over their own toes, so to say, and start fiddling a bit with the tempo or the general performance. Followed by a cool guitar solo midway through the track, I am starting to be quite confident that these, the faster and more country-swagger infused songs, are the absolute high-points of an album that occasionally borders on the verge of becoming far too chilled for its own good.

Despite the ballads not being my favorite parts of the album, I must admit that “The Temperance Movement” is a quite diverse listening experience that keeps the listener at a relatively interested level throughout the runtime, with my only problem being the far too chilled and melancholic state of the ballads that, in my opinion, seems to drag the whole thing a tiny bit down. Nonetheless, it is a genuinely solid debut release that showcases a great deal of promise.


Download: Midnight Black, Only Friend, Ain’t No Telling
For The Fans Of: Houndmouth, Neil Young, Alabama Black Snakes

Release Date 16.09.2013
Earache Records

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