With their heavy use of synths, distorted dance melodies draped over angular guitar rock and an obvious head nod to Public Image Ltd, it would seem easy to group Milwaukee’s Temper Temper with the rest of this current dance rock revival movement. But there’s something a little weirder going on here, maybe a bit darker, definitely a bit more indie than The Killers or The Bravery. Temper Temper somehow manage to sound like they’d be more comfortable opening for The Cult than they would for either of the aforementioned bands.
Their self-titled Revelation debut opens with “Trust Me,” which is by far the angriest, punkiest track on the album. It sounds great, a strong powerful opener that really showcases vocalist Patrick Fuller’s eerie, distorted howl. I dig it so much that I’d almost go as far as to compare it to These Arms Are Snakes. “Terror Tongue and Cheek,” the next track, is pretty similar sounding with its pulsing, catchy chorus and Fuller’s desperate whines. The rest of the album isn’t quite as memorable — at times, it’s downright boring — and we get a bit sick of the vocal style after a while. It doesn’t work as well anywhere else on the album as it does on the first two tracks, with the exception of “Heart Like A Fist,” when the band once again gets the recipe right and things turn funky again. Although it’s much poppier than most of the material, it’s certainly one of the best tracks on the album.
Producer Jim Diamond (The White Stripes, The Von Bondies) steps in to help give these guys a hard, raw punk sound right out of the late ’70s that compliments the band’s tendencies towards dance rock quite nicely. The package as a whole is a pretty decent debut effort. Fans of The Rapture should definitely check them out. Temper Temper is danceable and dirty, and a little groovy. They’ve certainly got potential. They’re just not there quite yet.
Temper Temper: www.tempertemper.net