Straight from the streets of Milwaukee, Temper Temper completely forego the youth-crew sound of Revelation's past, instead opting for an angular art-punk sound that meshes influences from T-Rex to Gary Numan, the Misfits to A Certain Ratio, the Make-Up to PiL to the Rapture - all done with a swagger and flair that would make even the most timid wallflower get up and move. Under the excellent guidance of legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (the White Stripes, Von Bondies, etc.), Temper Temper has crafted a sharp, sexy, dancey debut album that rocks in all the right places.
Patrick Fuller - Vocals
T. Jay Christenson - Keyboards, Guitar
Keith Stendler - Drums
Andy Menchal - Bass
Jim Neumeyer - Guitar
Interviews and Reviews
temper temper ...
Though there was no blood on her I thought of the beautiful composed face, resting on an arm of a woman resting on the floor as a victim. My thought was likely encouraged because of the "Temper Temper" emblazoned above her.
Open up the CD case and it's less exotic and beautiful. But the music on Temper Temper's self-titled debut March release is lush.
It's a good sign when you play a CD over and over and you don't get tired of it. Neither, however, does it "wow" me. At each listen, I discovered new layers and from the lyrics to the drums they are satisfying.
These guys weave different elements into their music - it's not just thrown together - and go beyond the guitar, bass and drums though not too far where its '80s synth bubble gum, bad-dancing infused pop.
The lead off track "Trust Me (I'm A Wild Bitch)" has a "Spirit in the Sky" pop vibe right in the first few bars, and it underpins the rest of the song. It's the punkiest of the 11-tracks and 43 minutes, with a driving force that isn't trying to force itself into any particular genre. "Trust Me" was also featured on Fox's The O.C. (which has a soundtrack better than the show).
"Delicate Pimp" is, appropriately limp; the bum note of the disc. Still the words behind it, like so many songs here, seem allusions to a drug lifestyle attitude, either closely witnessed or cautionary. Others have called the work "sexy" though I don't hear that, unless mention of panthers, legs, snakes, veins and fucking must necessarily be sexy. (I had to look again here. The iTunes listing of the songs has the album named "Self-Entitled" - which I thought was great - and the song "Delicate Pimp" is Delicate Limp.)
There's a growling groove to the disc, to which you could likely picture two asses move and grind in rhythm. But it all seems belied by the heavy sheet of words. "Sexy Little Cuts" seems to be a loud but plaintive request for a friend to stop their behavior:
Maybe next time when you are slamming coffins shut you will use a long nail /.... Pass you around like you wanted / When I got you weakened all you got are reasons / All the little cutting is a weak little shriek for hell / Well I am going to give you hell / When you come back I will say / "Are you lame? Are you lame? You are."
At some point I thought of the band it reminded me of most - The Cult, especially on "Trainwreck Fare" 's smooth ride. "Sin Spin Sin" and "Loaded Life" show the ouevre of Elastica is ripe in the air. The last track, "Cheap Little Target" is the most stripped down of songs - the album's ballad - and shows potential for a new or parallel direction.
The disc is a departure from the Revelation Records stable of hardcore metal. But Revelation is starting to have many such departures so it will be as interesting to see the rise of this band - which has an undeniably commercial thrust - along with the transmogrification of the label. Check here for some streaming versions of "Trust Me", "Loaded Life" and a remix of "Delicate Pimp" that improves on the original with an overdubbed backbeat.
Also, look soon for the video to "Loaded Life," - the song with the most metal of guitars and a showcase for vocalist Pat Fuller, who rages, moans, shouts and, yes, sings - directed by Jim Diamond (White Stripes). I have no idea how this song could look in video-form since the only mind-picture I get is a man, slouchily scuffling down a dark street, throwing rocks hard at the puddles in the road, spoiling for a fight. ...
Blogcritics.org, Temple Stark, July 17, 2005