British blues-rockers The Temperance Movement’s new album ‘White Bear’ is a sometimes foot-stomping, sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes soul-searching, and thoroughly awesome collection of tunes. The band rips, roars, struts, and croons through the tracks, delivering both raw emotional power and hair-shaking grooves.
The Temperance Movement’s sound feels firmly rooted in the 1970’s – not because it’s retro, really, but because it has that sort of living-breathing physical presence, rather than being all processed gloss and shine. I first got turned onto the band’s music after watching their track ‘Ain’t No Telling’ on YouTube some years ago. I still love that damn tune: it’s a knockout live performance that made me a fan right there at my computer screen.
‘White Bear’ might have a slightly less “live-feel” than the band’s previous album release, but their signature sound is there from the get-go on the stomping, raucous rocker ‘3 Bulleits’, followed by the more laidback and trippy ‘Get Yourself Free’, tricked out with a groove that shakes the floor-boards. Other standout tracks include the gorgeously glowy ‘A Pleasant Peace I Feel’, and the slow-burning title track ‘White Bear’, with some beautiful guitar-work, and Phil Campbell showcasing his considerable vocal magic.
Two of my favourite tracks on ‘White Bear’ are a couple of thumping rockers: ‘Modern Massacre’ – a booty-kicking and riotous track that just slays me; and ‘Battle Lines’ (possibly my fave track on the entire album), with fuzzy guitar, heavy drums pulling you down, and Campbell giving everything from start to finish on vocals. ‘Oh Lorraine’ is another keeper with its dreamy chorus, and enough strut and swagger to dazzle your mind and heart.
The album’s final track ‘I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind’ is an absolute stunner: gentle and sad and absolutely devastating, with lyrics and vocals that are painful, beautiful, and raw, all at the same time.
The Temperance Movement mixes their rock and roll with some blues, some soul, and full measures of their own heart and spirit. The music rips and roars, soothes and glows, and Campbell’s vocals just dig into you a little deeper every time.
Since starting out in 2011, The Temperance Movement has toured rather relentlessly, and you can feel and hear the payoff on ‘White Bear’: this is a band that is in full command of their musical powers, and confident enough to play with that loose, seductive rock and roll swagger that makes the music breathe and move and feel alive.
The Temperance Movement is currently on tour, and starting in late February the band will play a string of North American dates supporting Monster Truck: check them out if you can, and definitely pick up this album.
- 3 Bulleits
- Get Yourself Free
- A Pleasant Peace I Feel
- Modern Massacre
- Battle Lines
- White Bear
- Oh Lorraine
- Roll Around
- I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind
- Phil Campbell – vocals
- Paul Sayer – guitars
- Nick Fyffe – bass
- Damon Wilson – drums
- Matt White – guitar / former guitarist Luke Potashnick is featured on the album