They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the new album from The Temperance Movement demonstrates the truth in the motto. After a trying few years plagued with band members leaving, fighting the demons of addiction and the kind of trouble that could make or break a band, they have emerged in a blaze of rock and roll glory.
A Deeper Cut is personal and cathartic, yet retains the melodious and anthemic sound that defined the band and brought them to the attention of the wider music press and The Rolling Stones who the band toured with in the USA and Europe.
The album is an exhilarating and emotional ride from the retro overtones of the forceful opener Caught in the Middle to the album's serene resolution in The Wonder's We've Seen. It's an album that maintains it's integrity as a bonafide rock and roll record that has heart and depth throughout: there's no frills or fancy displays of showmanship in a desperate attempt to hit the mainstream; yet in their own way tracks such as Higher than the Sun and Beast Nation can't help draw comparisons to popular favorites Paolo Nutini and Jack Savoretti for their melody, rhythms and honest lyrics. Despite this, the album lends itself to the retro tones of classic rock bands like Traffic, CCR and Free and even REO Speedwagon. Phil Campbell's vocals are imbued with a rich tenderness on ballads like Children, but he's able to tackle the more raw rock tones required in Love and Devotion. There are speckles of a Transatlantic feel to his John Fogerty-esque vocals on the more Americana influenced Backwater Zoo, which sees Campbell channelling this to great effect. Even though there is the odd hop across the water, this is a very British sounding album from the five-piece that is unafraid of staying true to its roots and not prepared to compromise.
The Temperance Movement have been pushed to breaking point in the last few years and it would have been easy for them to throw it all away, yet some unseen adhesive bound them all together and just like a drop of the hard stuff, this album proves that there are some things in life that should be given up, and there are some things are worth holding on to.
Groupie Rating 4/5