I’m always hesitant to listen to new artists (at least new to me) when they’re pitched to me because it’s usually the same thing: processed music that I can’t stand. However, I’m glad I gave The Temperance Movement’s White Bear a chance. It’s far from anything processed as it’s raunchy, unique and actually good!
Based in London and Glasgow, UK The Temperance Movement is a four-piece band featuring front man Phil Campbell, bassist Nick Fyffe, guitarist Paul Sayer, and drummer Damon Wilson. Prior to forming the band, the members each played and performed with prominent acts including Deep Purple, Jamiroquai, Ray Davies, The Waterboys, Jack Bruce and even James Brown. When the friends got together for a jam in 2011, everything they’d experienced as sidemen and session men coalesced, and The Temperance Movement was born. 2012’s five-track Pride EP introduced them to the world, and their debut studio album, 2014’s The Temperance Movement announced the arrival of a major rock band. White Bear is their giant step forward.
To me, their sound is a cross between The Beatles and The Black Crowes although they cite AC/DC, Otis Redding, Radiohead and Faces among their influences. The production sounds like it was recorded on analog in the ’60s (not a bad thing, right?). The 12 track album was actually recorded piecemeal in different studios at different times due to the band’s touring schedule, although I couldn’t tell.
White Bear is a strong rock album that’s bluesy, soulful and loud that kicks off with the in-your-face lead single, “Three Bulleits” (not a typo). My favorite track would be the bluesy “Get Yourself Free,” an uptempo rocker that has a lot of commercial appeal to classic rock fans. The harmonies throughout the album are really good, too. The title track opens big with harmonies and then softens for the first verse before going big again in the chorus.
If you don’t live in England or the southern part of the United States, you may not be familiar with The Temperance Movement. After opening for the Rolling Stones in Europe, the band played their first American shows in early 2015, a tour that included some memorable shows throughout the South. “Obviously we’re hugely influenced by Southern soul music and Southern rock ‘n roll, so to finally play down there was thrilling,” says Sayer.
“A lot of times the first half of a gig is warming the crowd up and getting them on your side but those gigs in the States, even though we were still relatively unknown there, it felt like the crowd was with us from the first note,” said Campbell. “When our first album came out in America we were actually starting to move on a bit as a band, because it had come out much earlier in the UK. But this time White Bear is coming out everywhere around the same time. We’re very excited to play the new stuff for people. It’s a great moment for us.”
If you’re a fan of classic rock, you’ll want to pick up White Bear on July 15th when it’s released worldwide. You’ll relive a lot of nostalgia with a band that’s got a fresh sound you’re sure to love. And the best part, it’s four guys actually writing and performing their instruments.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.