Monday, 30 September 2013

Review: The Temperance Movement - The Temperance Movement

by Steve Dale.

‘Retro’ has been a popular trend worldwide in rock music for a number of years now, with the likes of Rival Sons from The USA and Graveyard from Sweden having made considerable headway in terms of selling albums and, more importantly, playing shows to progressively more people. Britain’s most recent contribution to this scene is The Temperance Movement, a band whose self-titled debut album last week achieved an astonishingly high position at number 12 in the UK charts.
Of course it has long been obvious to those in the know that rock music containing the spirit of the ‘70s gods doesn’t need modern mainstream recognition to have an eternal and thriving audience, but it is always great when, once in a while, this sort of thing pokes its long-hair above the surface.
Clearly taking a lot of influence from Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rolling Stones amongst others, The Temperance Movement showcase a rambling blend of blues and rock ‘n’ roll which is as infectious as it is loose.
They employ a very nuanced kind of guitar playing full of riffs, melody and brilliant solos in combination with Phil Campbell’s gritty but soulful vocal talents, rather than going straight for the instant gratification of basic chord structures and ‘catchy’ choruses like some modern rock bands (clue: It rhymes with stickleback).

This is not to say there aren’t hooks all over The Temperance Movement however: Take for example the main riffs from Only Friend and Know For Sure, or perhaps the choruses found in Be Lucky and Midnight Black. Although purists would hate to admit it, moments like these show why the classic rock revival is worth having, because quite simply they put The Temperance Movement on a level of songwriting very close to that of their heroes.

All things considered, from the driving hard rock sections to the more mellow ones, the moody ones and the outright joyful ones, this is a fantastically vibrant and varied album full of the sort of character and musical integrity it is difficult to find nowadays towards the top end of the UK charts.

A must have for fans of the blues and classic rock with a thirst for new sounds and modern production values.


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