If today could have a soundtrack, I would choose to give this band free reign.
Never in recent months have a band so completely captured my imagination and attention- sure, I love my records and my TV/ movie soundtracks that make up the body of my daily soul food- but every so often we all hunger for something new.
‘New’ being used slightly subjectively here: I’m probably a little late on this band’s wagon, their debut album having been released September 2013, but the point is I found a little piece of my soul in the sound of these guys, and they’ve unconditionally become a favorite over night.
I discovered British blues-rock band The Temperance Movement a few weeks ago while lounging over YouTube, covertly bringing up a lot of 90’s adolescent pop/rock, mainly by Rooster. Remember them? Hmm. I was just starting to think, Natalie, you need to find some new material, when I scrolled through the comments section on “Staring at the Sun”: ‘Louise Pennel’ said a year ago: “Look at The Temperance Movement; the main guitarist from Rooster is in it. They’re good too.”
Thank you, Louise Pennel.
Louise was referring to Luke Potashnick, lead guitarist for The Temperance Movement, having shed his boy band image and taken on one of whiskey tempered, countrified bluesy soul.
With his fellow bandmates, Phil Campbell, the voice of the band, Paul Sayer, guitar, Nick Fyffe, bass and Damon Wilson, drums, they’ve cultivated a genre that mixes a deep, earthy blend of home-made harmonies: my favourite kind of laconic rock ‘n’ roll full of swagger, and the kind of folk tinged influences that make it feel-good, inspiring listening for a summer day soaked in rum and fruit juice.
Now you know how I’m spending my bank holiday.
They released their first EP, ‘Pride’ on September 10th 2012, which surmises their debut five tracks: “Ain’t No Telling”, “Only Friend”, “Pride”, “Be Lucky” and “Lovers & Fighters”. The next week, the band appeared as the opening act at the 2012 edition of the Sunflower Jam SuperJam at the Royal Albert Hall. The band also played at Futurerock at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London in November 2012, and wasted no time in embarking on a UK tour from late April to early May 2013. Their self titled first studio album dropped on September 16th 2013, a product of Earache Records, with seven other tracks.
I feel like this band was formed with very simple but determined intentions. They have an honest sound, full of the kind of grit that somehow can be vulnerable and have a rock n roll swagger to rival the best of them. The Temperance Movement sound comprises smooth romantic reflection in ‘Pride’, a rolling ballad for long lonesome journeys of introspection, and the defiant strut of ‘Only Friend’, which kills the blues with a Tennessee temper.
It would also not be right not to mention rabble-rousing ‘Midnight Black’, with its racing-guns-blazing attitude, showcasing Nick and Damon’s respective bass and drum adeptivity at tight, up-tempo tension.
My favorite, though, is fast becoming ‘Know For Sure’, mainly for it’s smooth sex appeal which manages to bounce off of its gritty baselines to perfectly hit the spot with it’s humour-filled lyrics, capturing a flirtatious and energetic energy.
Like a spirit that vaporizes into hot spice on your tounge, Phil’s voice is melodic, yet course enough to demand attention. Both voices and instruments have room to breathe and leave the listener space to absorb the meaning that bubbles under the imperative attitude.
I have not yet had the privilege of hearing The Temperance Movement play live, but WHEN I do, I am fully expecting them to be even more rapturous. The album has an electricity that makes a listener hunger for a live sound; I think this may because of the stark lack of studio effect or trickery- these guys can only be better in the flesh.
My conclusion: take this music for what it is: soulful, believable, honest, exciting.
Keep up with the band here: http://latest.thetemperancemovement.com/
Photo credit: jimdunlop.com, thequietus.com