The Temperance Movement – White Bear (Earache)
Genre: Classic Rock
Details: Single disc heavyweight limited edition white vinyl/Gatefold sleeve/Fold-out lyric poster insert
White Bear? White hot, more like. Looking for a band that epitomises the transition from raw potential to proven class? Welcome to The Temperance Movement and the ebullient follow-up to 2013’s riveting self-titled debut.
We’d heard the rumours about a change in musical direction, listened to the fears surrounding so-called ‘second album syndrome’ and read the odd (generally positive) review. But judgement had been reserved. Until now. Until the heavyweight vinyl laid bare White Bear.
Sonically it’s an ambitious, grandiose affair. Guitarists Paul Sayer and (the now departed) Luke Potashnick scale sensational new heights with an array of blues-based experimental tones that reference Southern Rock to jazz and everything in between.
So engrossing is the music that it’s easy to lose sight of the lyrics and frontman Phil Campbell faces a contstant battle to make himself heard above a sparkling palette of weird and wonderful sounds. It’s a battle he wins.
Bullish and refreshingly brash, Modern Massacre and Battle Lines (the latter perhaps closest to the ‘typical’ Temerance Movement sound) close side one with a sense of pent-up fury. But flip to side two and you face five songs that could define this band’s career.
The title track is a familiar fusion of everything Campbell and co. do best – classic rock with a 21st century twist. Oh Lorraine is upbeat, almost funky – its riff disarmingly reminiscent of something ambient house combo The Grid might have borrowed to underpin a dance anthem in the early 1990s. Magnify, maybe the best song here, fuses a psychedelic intro. with modern Americana to create a Primal Scream-meets-Tom Petty vibe.
The Sun And Moon Roll Around Too Soon uses a laid back bass line, Campbell’s comforting, gravel-toned pipes and a Hoople-esque riff to roll back the years before set closer I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind (our copy came replete with an authentic crackle) focuses on a sensationally soulful chorus.
Not so much a change in musical direction, this is a natural continuation of The Temperance Movement’s journey towards complete creative freedom. No boundaries, no barriers – their route is clear.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Ambition Laid Bear