THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – A Deeper Cut (2018)
British classic rock and rollers THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT have a new album due to be released on February 16th. “A Deeper Cut” features 12 brand new songs which draw from the band’s recent triumphs, including two Top 20 albums, touring around the world and sharing the stage with such rock megastars as The Rolling Stones.
We really enjoyed The Temperance Movement’s debut (featured on this blog), a cool slice of retro-rock mixing bluesy classic rock swagger and soulful sensitivity. Not so their second effort, more an indie-tinged contemporary rock experiment.
Well, “A Deeper Cut” is a welcomed ‘back to the roots’.
This reversion to type can be put down partly to the departure of original guitarist Luke Potashnick, the man largely responsible for pushing the band to a more ‘modern sound’.
So now, The Temperance Movement 2018 simply double down on what they do best: rock with that classic rock vibe.
Opener ‘Caught In The Middle’ struts in on the back of a tightly coiled guitar groove, a tactic which the band deploy throughout the record. There’s little of the willful sloppiness or self-indulgence of so many bluesy classic rock bands here – this is tight and precise but never dry or airless.
The soul fueled ‘Love And Devotion’ has a massive groove, ‘Children’ is cracked Americana and there is an unashamed pop hook about ‘There’s Still Time’, while ‘The Wonders We’ve Seen’ begins with the line “let’s not go home” as if they’re reminding themselves they are in it for the long haul.
It helps that The Temperance Movement know the value of a good tune. ‘Built-In Forgetter’ might have the worst title in recent memory, but sports a chorus of truly joyous proportions. Conversely, ‘Another Spiral’ is a slow-burner that perfectly balances poise and emotional charge – the band definitely give good ballad.
What helps even more is singer Phil Campbell. If there’s a better blue-eyed soul vocalist around right now, they’re keeping quiet. Campbell is alternately sandpaper-rough and honey-smooth, slipping effortlessly from the lung-busting testifyin’ of ‘Love And Devotion’ to the restrained emoting of the plaintive title track.
It’s an approach that Paul Rodgers perfected 50 years ago and few people have managed to pull off since. Campbell is a notable exception.
“A Deeper Cut” sounds too urgent to be a period piece – timeless rather than time-stamped, distinctly 2018 as opposed to 1978. This is clearly the album The Temperance Movement needed to make for all sorts of reasons, mainly, what they do best: Rock. Equally, for all sorts of reasons it will resonate with all sorts of people. Primarily because it is brilliant retro-rock.
01 – Caught in the Middle
02 – Built-In Forgetter
03 – Love and Devotion
04 – A Deeper Cut
05 – Backwater Zoo
06 – Another Spiral
07 – Beast Nation
08 – The Way It Was and the Way It Is Now
09 – Higher Than the Sun
10 – Children
11 – There’s Still Time
12 – The Wonders We’ve Seen
Phil Campbell (vocals)
Paul Sayer (guitar)
Nick Fyffe (bass)
Matt White (guitar)
Simon Lea (drums)