Review by Rich Ward
Release date: 15th January 2016
Like many of their fans, The Temperance Movement won me over with a live show. Their live work ethic has been commendable, playing the small pubs and clubs alongside numerous festival appearances, their stature grew such that by the time their debut album was released, most of the tracks were already familiar. The response to that debut was incredible and it has kept them on the road for a further two years, with prestigious support slots with the Rolling Stones and a US tour with label mates Blackberry Smoke. While it’s made it seem like a like a long wait for album number 2, the continued touring gave the band the opportunity to air a few of their new songs along the way, and if memory serves correctly, 3 of these songs featured in their set the last time they played the Midlands at Birmingham Institute.
On first listen, the impression is that it is less immediate than the first album; it’s a grower, has plenty of variety and the more listens, the more it reveals.
‘Three Bulleits’ serves as a great opener, with a persistent bassline and heavy drums powering the track along, there’s some trademark slide guitar work and a superb solo to end on. It’s typical Temperance Movement. ‘Get Yourself Free’ slows things down, but only a little in blues rock style mixing elements of the Faces and Southern Rock.
‘A Pleasant Peace I Feel’ is certainly one of the tracks that I appreciated more with repeated listens, and has become one of my favourite tracks on the album in the way that it moves from a quiet intro to a full on glorious rock masterpiece.
While the style of White Bear is not really a departure from the style of the first album, ‘Battle Lines’ and the title track are typical Temperance Movement fare that will not disappoint fans of the debut; both good solid rock tracks. ‘Oh Lorraine’ has been featured on Planet Rock and is a straight forward rock track. It brings to mind a Kula Shaker type sound and sounds quite unlike any other Temperance Movement track, unique and enjoyable.
‘Magnify’ is sure to become a live highlight. There’s a certain amount of Stones influence here at the start as it builds and evolves into something of a mini epic. It’s a song that made for stadium shows, of which I’m sure there will be many in the not too distant future. Another track that has become a favourite on the album.
Final song, ‘I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind’, seems a little out of place. After an album of mostly full on tracks, the slow start leads you to think it will continue to build into something anthemic, but instead meanders in to very slow gospel tinged blues.
Overall, White Bear is a very well produced album which comes from a band sounding very self assured. Early indications are that the album will debut in the Top Ten on its release. If that’s the case, then it’s thoroughly deserved and one step closer to World domination.
The Temperance Movement play Birmingham Institute on Monday 25th January.
8 out of 10
- Three Bulleits
- Get Yourself Free
- A Pleasant Peace I Feel
- Modern Massacre
- Battle Lines
- White Bear
- Oh Lorraine
- The Sun And The Moon Roll Around
- I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind