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The Temperance Movement - The Temperance Movement (Album Review)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 Written by Simon Ramsay

The Temperance Movement are a band seemingly out of place and time. Put it this way, if the Faces moved to Georgia in the 1970s, hooked up with the the Allman Brothers and recorded songs written by Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Temperance Movement would be the result.

In reality, they formed in 2011 and consist of Glaswegian singer Phil Campbell, English guitarists Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer, Aussie born drummer Damon Wilson and former Jamiroquai bassist Nick Fyffe. They've built a strong reputation as a great live act and in 2012 released the acclaimed 'Pride EP'.

Without missing a beat the band have fulfilled their early promise and then some, delivering a wonderfully rounded debut album that boasts more depth than you might imagine.

Mixing full fat, good time rock n' roll with heartbroken tales of loss and redemption, the Temperance Movement brim with an unholy confidence that suggests they're either channelling a higher musical power or have sold their souls to St Nic.

Stunning opener Only Friend is a prime example, weaving laid back Skynyrd guitar rhythms beneath Campbell's powerful rasp while a hymn-like chorus adds confessional clout to a narrative that's all hell hounds, preachers and jailbreaks. Ain't No Telling unfurls a rough and tumble sparkle as Campbell lets rips like a young Rod Stewart with added aggression, before the band burn down the barn with a blistering solo section.

The overall sound of the album may scream retro, but they play their bluesy, swaggering tunes with a couldn't-care-less spirit that places them comfortably in the here and now alongside Jack White and the Black Keys.

Take It Back detonates out of the blocks with venomous drumming, turbo-charged grooves and a swirling vocal hook, while Be Lucky is a grinning concoction of chirpy, choppy Ronnie Wood rhythms and adorable lyrics. Know For Sure brings plucky southern rock flavours, with chicken pickin' slide and a chorus that stamps its foot on the floor in rattling style, while Midnight Black's incendiary boogie delivers clattering drums and a rhythmic gallop that's old school rock 'n' roll amped up on Red Bull.

The album also contains a handful of staggeringly beautiful folk-flavoured ballads that recall Neil Young's finest work from the early '70s. The depth of emotion they pour into these songs is astonishing given their relatively tender years. When Campbell sighs the lovelorn refrain in Chinese Lanterns and fights the pain to preach hope on Lovers And Fighters – a tale about carrying on after “the reaper breaks the dawn” - he sings with such sincerity even the toughest guy in the bar will be drying his eyes.

These songs feel like classics that have been around for years. At first, it's necessary to check the sleeve notes to make sure they're not covers, but then it dawns that the Temperance Movement are special songwriters. Not just for the stories they tell or the way they compose their tunes, but because they write music that pulls off the difficult trick of being significant and truthfully intimate at the same time. This is one of the best debut albums by a British rock band for decades.

The Temperance Movement UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Tue September 17th 2013 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Wed September 18th 2013 - GLASGOW Oran Mor
Thu September 19th 2013 - ABERDEEN The Tunnels
Sun September 22nd 2013 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Warehouse 46
Mon September 23rd 2013 - LEEDS Cockpit
Tue September 24th 2013 - BRISTOL Thekla
Wed September 25th 2013 - READING Sub89
Thu September 26th 2013 - READING Reading Sub 89
Fri September 27th 2013 - NORWICH Waterfront
Sat September 28th 2013 - LEICESTER O2 Academy Leicester
Sun September 29th 2013 - PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
Fri November 15th 2013 - STOKE Sugarmill
Sun November 17th 2013 - LONDON KOKO
Mon November 18th 2013 - CARDIFF Globe
Wed November 20th 2013 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Thu November 21st 2013 - EDINBURGH Liquid Room
Fri November 22nd 2013 - MANCHESTER Manchester Club Academy

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