Album review: The Temperance Movement - White Bear

The Temperance Movement - White Bear

The Temperance Movement - White Bear - Credit: Archant

As movements go, this band’s second record conjures fun from familiarity, writes Stephen Moore.

The sophomore album from our British-born, American-sounding rockers is a laser-focused behemoth.

Concentrating on delivering a marble slab of classic American rock streaked through with the ‘60s British blues explosion (think The Faces in particular), White Bear is straightforwardly, unashamedly derivative - but very, very well executed - fun.

They lay their cards on the table with opener Three Bulleits, a polished, anthemic blues-rock retread inspired by bourbon that gets the blood pumping and drinks spilling.

Here singer Phil Campbell’s lightly gruff vocal (think Eddi Vedder) breaks into the first of White Bear’s countless raucous howls while the dual guitars of the band’s founding members ramp up the thrills.

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The heavy-set songs are never less than enjoyable, and it’s easy to hear the rabble-rousing appeal that landed them support slots on two Rolling Stones tours.

There’s enough interest to keep them head and shoulders above the blues-rock also-rans; the air-punching, amped-up Americana of Get Yourself Free is narcissistic fun and the meaty, Pearl Jam-like opus A Pleasant Peace I Feel adds gospel choir to its wall of glorious, hair-rock noise.

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The title track, centred on the glorious, simple joy of a sliding guitar note, and Oh Lorraine, an electrified, spaced-out barn dance, are equally fun.

Rating: 3/5

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