Temperance Movement Rocks up Dostoevsky’s White Bear
Opening with Three Bulliets, with its catchy chorus drumming with intent the power of the music sweeps through the speaker creating a wall of sound that has layers of tones and patterns that hooks you in; and you want to hear much, much more. White Bear is a wild animal of an album from The Temperance Movement, Rock N Roll that turns up the volume and tempo. The album is titled after a quote from Dostoevsky’s Winter Notes on Summer Impressions: ‘Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.’ Temperance Movement are not cursed – the music is innovative and builds strong shapes distorting dimensions so that the notes from guitar and drums swirl and capture the power and message of lyrical driven tracks. This is a five piece that uses every note available building crescendo’s and shading the quiet so you are beguiled, entranced, delighted and moved to dance in equal measure. The band based in London and Glasgow combine a pedigree of experiences in the world of music distilling, re-blending into the movement sound. The vocals of Phil Campbell are central, influential in how each song has its own tempo and feel. Around the front-man bassist Nick Fyffe sets the groove and the rest of the rhythmic movement is provided by drumming that stands-out on every track from Damon Wilson. Into this charismatic mix comes the twin guitar power of Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick, who since recording the album has left The Temperance Movement, in future the second guitar will be delivered by Matt White.
The guitars open and the sonic picture is created and A Pleasant Place I Feel creating the equivalent of a Rock n’ Roll musical hug. The guitar playing is such that you want the place to exist and never disappear. This is no gentle folky track it is progressive Rock n’ Roll that groans and rolls around the lyrics exciting music once again from The Temperance Movement. The tonal picture changes swampy, raw roots rock sound of Modern Massacre embeds itself and is a delightful earworm the drumming rhythmic digging deep into the collective American memory with a Native American feel, this is arena drama at any live show. The title track, White Bear is full of clashing symbols that fade away to a delicate, almost fragile delivery of the lyrics this is a beautiful track with the whole band kicking in and the tempo is on fire, this is a bear dancing with delight. The juxtaposition of quieter and rockier movements makes this the heart and soul of the album. Followed by Oh Lorraine fast, blues with added potion of funk of the future modern and this will have the crowds waving and cheering as the tempo kicks in and Oh Lorraine will be sung back whenever played live. The closing track I hope I’m Not Losing My Mind is quieter, the tempo is slower the ballad book has been opened. The track has an ethereal, out of this world feel as if the mind is being lost. The lyrics are sharp and deep and closes this album full of thought so that you can reflect back on White Bear that is full of every colour of the spectrum and will excite every time you listen to Temperance Movement’s White Bear.
There is a cohesive feel about the album, as if the music flowed out in one session. In fact that is anything but the truth, this is an album that has travelled in its creation as it moved from Rockfield to Fish Factory and then on to Abbey Road. White Bear is a huge album that will be the talk of the town when released on 15th January 2016. Sit back enjoy the musical journey of The White Bear and above all listen to the lyrics, they are meaningful, relevant and fitting for the world we are embarking on through 2016.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Three Bulliets
2. Get Yourself Free
3. A Pleasant Place I Feel
4. Modern Massacre
5. Battle Lines
6. White Bear
7. Oh Lorraine
9. The Sun And Mon Roll Around
10. I Hope I am Not Losing My Mind