Oct 6, 2018

THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT - The Temperance Movement
(Earache Records MOSH502LP, 2013)

Many bands are touted as the future of rock'n'roll. Mostly it’s either record company hype or wishful thinking. The Temperance Movement are different. They’re the real thing. They epitomize rock'n'roll. Formed in 2011, they’ve come a long way in two years. They’ve conquered Britain, Europe and America with their unique fusion of rock'n'roll, blues, country and soul. Somehow, whilst conquering much of the Western world, The Temperance Movement have found time to record and release their eponymous debut album. What became "The Temperance Movement", was recorded before the group signed to Earache Records earlier this summer. Earache Records were presented with the finished article. All that was left was to promote and release "The Temperance Movement". It was released on 16th September 2013, and strutted its way to number twelve in the UK. This is just the start of what should be a long and successful album for The Temperance Movement, whose career started in 2011. 

Although The Temperance Movement were only formed in 2011, the five members of the band have a wealth of experience. Glasgow-born lead vocalist, Phil Campbell, has released a string of solo albums. This includes 2008s "After The Garden", 2009s "Daddy’s Table" and 2010s "Saviour’s Song". As for the guitarists, Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick, Luke is a former member of Rooster and Ben’s Brother. Bassist Nick Fyffe was in Jamiroquai’s band, while Australian-born drummer Damon Wilson counts Feeder, The Waterboy’s and Ray Davies as former employers. These five experienced and very talented musicians joined forces to form The Temperance Movement. Between 2011 and September 2012, The Temperance Movement concentrated on honing their sound. Quickly, they’d established a loyal following. Whether it was pubs, clubs, concert halls or festivals, the word was out. The Temperance Movement were seen as a group with a huge future. Some pundits hailed them as the future of rock ‘n’ roll. Strangely, The Temperance Movement weren’t signed to a record label. So when the time came to release their debut E.P, The Temperance Movement released it themselves. The "Pride" E.P. was released on 10th September 2012 and featured five tracks. "Pride", "Be Lucky", "Only Friend", "Ain’t No Telling" and "Lovers and Fighters" were an introduction to The Temperance Movement’s kick ass brand of blistering rock'n'roll. "Pride" was released to critical acclaim, and lead to The Temperance Movement playing at the Royal Albert Hall.

Every year, The Sunflower Jam Super Jam takes place at the Royal Albert Hall. This charity concert raises funds for The Sunflower Jam, a cancer charity. In September 2012, just a week after the release of the "Pride" E.P, The Temperance Movement were the opening act at the Super Jam. They played the first two tracks from the "Pride" E.P. Then in November 2012, The Temperance Movement played at Futurerock in the 100 Club, in Oxford Street, London. Playing such a prestigious venue early in their career was proof that The Temperance Movement were going places. 2012 it seemed, had been a good year. 2013 would be better. So far, during 2013, The Temperance Movement haven’t stopped working. In April and May, they headed out on a grueling British tour. Then during the summer, they became festival favourites. All the time, they were spreading the word about the The Temperance Movement. In between, tours and festivals, The Temperance Movement managed to find time to record their eponymous debut album. "The Temperance Movement" features twelve tracks. This includes the five tracks from the "Pride" E.P. plus seven new songs. Ten of the songs are written by Phil Campbell, Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick. The other two tracks, "Lovers and Fighters" and "Midnight Black" were penned by Phil Campbell. These twelve tracks were recorded at the Fish Factory Studios and Submarine Studios, London. Producing "The Temperance Movement", are Sam Miller and The Temperance Movement. These twelve tracks became "The Temperance Movement".

With their debut album recorded, The Temperance Movement signed to Earache Records earlier this summer. By then, word was the spreading about The Temperance Movement. They were now regarded as the group who could and would save rock'n'roll. Many of who had heard this before, knew The Temperance Movement were different. We weren’t surprised when "The Temperance Movement" reached number twelve in the UK Charts. I’m sure it’ll go higher. After all, given the quality of music on "The Temperance Movement", which I’ll tell you about, rock'n'roll’s in safe hands. "Only Friend", a glorious fusion of blues and rock opens "The Temperance Movement". Screaming, scorching guitars, pounding drums and hi-hats take the track in the direction of AC/DC. Then when Phil’s grizzled vocal, there’s a real Led Zeppelin influence. It’s as if The Temperance Movement have been weened on classic rock. They never miss a beat. Spraying guitars across the arrangement, the rhythm section lock into a tight, steady groove, while Phil’s vocal references Robert Plant, Joe Cocker and Brian Johnson. "Ain’t No Telling" doesn’t just see The Temperance Movement pick up where they left off on "Only Friend". No. Things get better. The Temperance Movement kick out the jams. They become an unstoppable musical juggernaut. Jagged, crystalline guitars and a driving rhythm section drive the arrangement along. Phil Campbell’s vocal is a mixture of raw power and emotion. His powerful, impassioned pleas are heartfelt and sincere. They’re halfway between the barroom and church. His voice sounds as if it’s honed to perfection on Jack Daniels and Marlboro. Then all of a sudden, he’s a testifying preacher. This is the signal for the band to kick loose. Motoring through the gears, they produce a spellbinding performance. This proves that rock ‘n’ roll is alive and thriving, thanks to The Temperance Movement.

"Pride" sees a much more mellow side of The Temperance Movement. There’s a country rock sound to the track, Just acoustic guitar and meandering bass combine while Phil lays bare his weary soul. He’s loved, but lost. His "Pride" got in the way. Hurt and heartbreak are ever-present as Phil, accompanied by cooing harmonies, realizes what’s he’s lost. "Be Lucky" sits midway between The Rolling Stones, Free, Bad Company and Primal Scream. It’s another strutting slice of classy rock. Enveloped by chugging, riffing guitars and the tightest of rhythm section, Phil’s vocal sounds as if it belongs on a Free album. Here, he sounds not unlike Paul Rodgers. It’s hard to believe Phil comes from Glasgow. He sounds as if he was born just of "Route 66". Oozing confidence and sass, he struts his way through the track, every inch the old school rock'n'roll frontman. Muted guitars open "Midnight Black" while Phil delivers a grizzled vocal. By now, the driving, pounding rhythm section and searing, scorching rocky guitars have become the tightest of units. Phil’s vocal is very much from the school of classic rock. He’s just the latest keeper of the flame of authentic rock'n' roll. This is no one-man band. No. Everyone plays their part. Listen to the duel guitars and thunderous rhythm section. They’re every inch old school rock ‘n’ roll band, on this tale of hurt and heartache.

"Chinese Lanterns" sees The Temperance Movement change tack. There’s an alternative country sound to the track. Think Wilco or The Jayhawks. There’s even a touch of Gram Parsons. Weeping guitars accompany Phil, whose vocal is tinged with regret. It’s late at night, and memories come flooding back. He remembers what he’s lost. She’s moved on, but he hasn’t. Still he holds a candle for her, but realistically, he knows she’s gone and he should move on. That’s easier said than done, on this tale of love lost and a heart broken. Here, Phil paints pictures, pictures that unfold before your eyes. "Know For Sure" returns to the rockier sound. The tempo is dropped and briefly, Phil sounds like Peter Gabriel. Indeed, briefly, "Know For Sure" reminds me slightly of Peter Gabriel’s "Sledgehammer". That’s before it’s transformed into another slice of old school rock. Their duel guitars do battle. They’re not content to unleash the same notes. They play around each other, their playing inventive and dramatic. Then there’s the thunderous rhythm section. It provides the backdrop for Phil, as he revisits his role of rock ‘n’ roll preacher. Later, screaming guitars replace his testifying vocal as struts his way through this reminder of what music once sounded like. 

"Morning Riders" sees The Temperance Movement toy with you. Then they unleash some of their trademark scorching guitar licks. Drummer Damon Wilson anchors the band. He provides the heartbeat, while Phil every inch the old school frontman, throws himself into the role. It’s as if this was his destiny. He’s a mixture of Slash, Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, Brian Johnson and Chris Robinson. As he unleashes one of his best vocals, the band are spurred on to greater heights. Whether it’s playing as a unit, or during solo, this is a vintage performance. Some stunning, screaming guitar solos are unleashed. Then the band become a tight, slick unit who deliver an impassioned, dramatic fusion of blues and rock. "Lovers and Fighters" sees a much more understated side of The Temperance Movement. Just an acoustic guitar accompanies Phil’s tender, husky soulful vocal. Weeping guitars add a country twist as the arrangement begins to reveal its secrets and beauty. Drums provide a pensive backdrop that matches Phil’s vocal. It too, has a melancholy sound. Not only that, but it shows a very different and quite beautiful side to The Temperance Movement’s music. Indeed, this is much more like some of Phil’s work as a solo artist. When the drums count the band in on "Take It Back", you know what’s coming next. The Temperance Movement are about to explode into action. You’re not disappointed. Machine gun drums and rhythm section join boisterous harmonies. They set the scene for Phil’s rasping vocal. Rolls of thunderous drums, searing, crystalline guitars and singalong harmonies play their part in a track whose roots are in seventies glam rock and rock'n'roll. Everything from The New York Dolls, MC5, Iggy and The Stooges, went into the making of the boisterous, strutting "Take It Back".

"Smouldering" is another country-tinged ballad. This is something Phil Campbell and the rest of The Temperance Movement do so well. His worldweary vocal sounds full of emotion and regret. Accompanying him are guitars and the rhythm section. They’ve locked into a tight groove. Their playing is sparse and effective. Rock and country becomes one, as Phil, accompanied by scatted harmonies delivers a heartfelt and heartbroken vocal opus. Closing "The Temperance Movement" is "Serenity". It has understated bluesy, country sound. Just guitars accompany Phil’s tender, emotive vocal. Again, this allows us to hear a very different side to The Temperance Movement. They’ve returned to the balladry they do so well. They’re far from a one trick pony. Later, the track becomes a blistering slice of rock'n'roll. Whether its ballads, loves songs or blistering rock ‘n’ roll, The Temperance Movement do it just as well. Serenity, brings all this together and showcases the multitalented The Temperance Movement at their very best. Just two years after they formed, The Temperance Movement have played all over Britain, Europe and America. Having won over audiences throughout the Western world, The Temperance Movement released their debut E.P. in September 2012. Released to critical acclaim, The Temperance Movement spent the next year spreading the word about The Temperance Movement. Whether it was in concert halls or at festivals, The Temperance Movement gained a band of followers. No wonder. Here was the future of rock'n'roll. 

The Temperance Movement are an old school rock'n'roll band. They reference everyone from AC/DC, Bad Company, Free, Primal Scream, Joe Cocker, Led Zeppelin, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and The Rolling Stones. Add to that The Eagles, The Jayhawks and Wilco. Then there’s The New York Dolls, MC5, Iggy and The Stooges. All these groups have played their part in influencing The Temperance Movement, whose eponymous debut album reached number twelve in the UK. That’s just the start. There’s only one place The Temperance Movement are going; to the top. No wonder. The Temperance Movement keep it real. Here’s an old school rock'n'roll band. It sounds as if rather than nursery rhymes, The Temperance Movement were weened on classic rock'n' roll. That’s worked out well. Drawing inspiration from the music of the past, The Temperance Movement have produced the music of the future. Fusing blues, country and blistering, old-school rock ‘n’ roll and soul, The Temperance Movement’s eponymous debut album is flawless. Whether it’s ballads or when they kick loose, The Temperance Movement live up to their reputation as the future of rock'n'roll. Many bands have been touted as the savior of rock'n'roll. In their hands, the future of rock'n'roll has been placed. Over the years, I’ve watched the contenders come and go. Some have sunk without trace, becoming the musical equivalent of the Titanic. As for the grand old men of rock'n'roll, groups like The Who and the Rolling Stones they’re yesterdays men, living off their past glories. Thankfully, rock'n'roll has found its savior. The future of rock'n'roll is safe, the future of rock'n'roll is The Temperance Movement.

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