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Temper Temper – CD Review

Label: Revelation Records

I know what you’re thinking “Not another dancy, art punk band! When will it stop?” Well it’s okay to be dubious, after all: the sound has been co-opted and catchphrased to death and overpackaged to unsuspecting hipsters to such a point that you just want to throw your hands up and be done with it all.

Yes, there are hundreds of bands that sound like The Rapture these days and one should be on alert. The sound of thumpy percussion, searing guitars and bouncy keys has indeed been overused, overexposed and to a certain extent misrepresented. In the case of Temper Temper, though, one has pause for joy. On their self-titled new release this Milwaukee band capably combines the aesthetics of punk rock with the sleaziness of glam and the frenetic energy of angular art rock to create a sound that is deeper, louder and broader than many other bands within the genre.

Throughout the album Temper Temper bully and assault you in the same way that PIL did on their first few records. They sneer, snarl and flail violently from track to track, leaving the listener lost in a swirling storm of crushing loudness and range. The opener “Trust Me” sounds like Gary Numan jamming with T-Rex. “Terror Tongue & Cheek” takes a Nine Inch Nails harmony and bends it with Devo-esque rapid-fire keyboards. “Trainwreck Flare,” “Delicate Pimp” and “Sexy Little Cuts” all take the swagger of the Strokes, the power of Black Flag and intensity of The Rapture and stir it up with punchy vocals and grungier guitars.

Although Temper Temper isn’t fooling anybody or doing anything new and different, they are a band that flat out likes to rock. They have all the raw ingredients needed to become a massive arena band. Where Temper Temper falls short lyrically is more than made up with their raw energy. TT’s edgy vocals and sheer loudness
assure them massive success somewhere down the road. This debut album shows that they are indeed a band with unlimited potential.

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