THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT

temperancemovementTHE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – ‘The Temperance Movement’
After just one EP and some invigorating live performances, expectations for this debut LP from British Rockers The Temeprance Movement, are disproportionately high.  Despite that weight upon their shoulders, this is one of the most stirring Rock ‘n’ Roll offerings in a long time.  No histrionics, no poses, just talented musicians doing what comes naturally.  There’ a tendency in Rock music to over-emphasise, but TTM understand the concept of economy and where they’re concerned, ‘natural’ and ‘economy’ are key words.  The straight forward approach never leaves them lacking flair and although there are holes in the sound, they actually add to the overall effect.  It could have been the type of record that A&R departments would have dismissed as having no commercial potential.  It saunters along, head nodding, eyes glazed, probing into musical corners unexplored since the days of Reef and The Black Crowes.  The beauty is in its lack of ability to look at MTV and work out what goes where.  Living in their own world, where music is pure and rolling a fat one is an integral part of the creative process, it could be a recipe for the worst of Sammy Hagar et al.  Yet in places it’s totally enthralling.  There are a few moments that initially leap out and demand instant approval, but there’s always something going on that lets you know patience will bring its rewards.  ‘Only Friend’ comes into focus first, the urgency in vocalists Phil Campbell’s preacher man vocals making you believe in the plaintive nature of a request to be the object of their affections.  Then ‘Aint No Telling’ gets under your skin, heralding a laid back groove that’s shoulder-shakingly funky!  ‘Pride’ then snakes in, suitably mellow, stirring up some heartfelt blues sparking out of a lilting opening, the band riding side-saddle to Luke Potashnick’s and Paul Sayers guitar work.  And so it continues, each song, from the country-flavoured ‘Be Lucky’ to the tastefully understated ‘Smouldering’ and closer ‘Serenity’ that rises up with a rougher, sonic edge.  TTM seem to thrive on the notion of unity within the unit, you can tell in the way their musical network is nigh on telepathic.  But those who need an all out direct hit won’t approve of this debut.  Those who wish to take a trip with these fine exponents of guitar music can set their bags down here.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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