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The Temperance Movement – White Bear Review

Released By: Earache Records

Release Date: 15th January 2016

Genre: Blues Rock

Links: thetemperancemovement.com , Facebook

 

Line Up:

Phil Campbell – Vocals

Luke Potashnick – Guitars

Nick Fyffe – Bass

Damon Wilson – Drums

 

Track Listing:

01. Three Bulleits

02. Get Yourself Free

03. A Pleasant Peace I Feel

04. Modern Massacre

05. Battle Lines

06. White Bear

07. Oh Lorraine

08. Magnify

09. The Sun And The Moon Roll Around Too Soon

10. I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind

The Temperance Movement caused a serious ripple when they released their five track Pride EP in 2012.  That ripple became a virtual tsunami when their self-titled album landed on us in 2013, giving music in general a well-needed shot in the arm.  Two years on, they’re set to administer another dose of compelling modern blues-rock with White Bear.

I’ll admit to being initially nervous listening to a follow up album, especially when its predecessor has completely blown you away.  But opener Three Bulleits calms the nerves straight off and hits you right between the eyes with some feel good blues stomp.  The rousing chorus twined with Phil Campbell’s razor sharp rasp make for an infectious listen.  If ever there was a band that isn’t afraid to wear their influences proudly on their sleeves, it’s these guys.  Get Yourself Free has The Faces and Free DNA flowing through its veins, with a gyrating, hip swiveling swagger.  And the irresistible hook on the chorus takes you 40 years back with its seductive pull.  The psychedelic A Pleasant Peace I Feel might start with an underwhelming dubious bass line by Nick Fyffe, but a slow teasing guitar and vocal build up erupts into a tasty cocktail of alternative and classic rock.  No punches pulled with pulsating Modern Massacre, laced with a dark humorous vibe; its romping rhythm is purely designed for rambunctious mayhem.  Campbell’s vocals are their most sinister and menacing here on a song that will morph into a complete monster live.

Clearly relishing the working relationship with co-producer Sam Miller, retaining his services has once again struck gold.  The swashbuckling Battle Lines arrogantly thrusts itself upon you with force.  Another track that is pulse is firmly immersed in years since passed; its gripping strut thoroughly encapsulates everything that this band stands for.  But their obvious collaborative kinship comes with the title track White Bear.  Southern rock rears it head in captivating style on a track that in years to come will become a Temperance classic.

I could be hung at the gallows at the mere mention of this, but straight off Oh Lorraine smacks mainly of the irritating Manchester music scene that engulfed most of the early 90’s.  Starting off with a riff that sounds like it’s been performed on a souped up banjo, thankfully I could only truthfully compare it to one of the better bands of that era, that being The Stone Roses.  The trance like rhythm that engulfs it, will seriously grow on you no matter how much you may not want it to.  Magnify is well meaning but doesn’t quite stir the blood compared to what has gone before and is mainly a lightweight affair.

But all is quickly forgiven with The Sun And The Moon Roll Around Too Soon, it’s unmistakable deep south blues vocal duets perfectly with some traditional rock delivery, on a track that may come across a bit sluggish in parts, but that’s all part of this songs roguish charm.  The album closes on a sombre but classy note with I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind.  It’s lazy, reflective and atmospheric tones may not warm your cockles from the get go, but after a couple of turns and a sinful beverage in hand, you’ll realise it’s the most appropriate way to close what is quite a majestic collection of songs.

The Temperance Movement’s stock is only going to rise when this record reaches the masses.  There are not many bands about today who are producing music like this with such resonating effect.  When you find them, cherish them and worship them.

 

Written by: Brian Boyle

Ratings: Brian 10/10

 

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