Have we hit post-post-modern yet? The new New Wave is all the rage and post-post punk is making its play for our ears and hearts. Influences are being assimilated and reassembled constantly, but nothing really new is being produced. Accessories don’t make a car new and this trend toward what I call glop rock (taking disparate influences and glopping them together) isn’t exactly producing the next Beatles. Temper Temper, from Milwaukee, are definitely in the glop rock brigade. They cite T. Rex, Gary Numan, The Misfits, Led Zeppelin, Public Image Limited, and A Certain Ratio all as influences. Does this produce something new, or are just dressing up an old Ford Pinto?
The album begins with a pulsing electronically enhanced beat leading to an industrial atmosphere that’s not too oppressive. We’re talking light machinery factory instead of a heavy machinery one. This is probably what made “Trust Me” perfect for The O.C. as it was featured on a recent episode. I guess the young kids go wild for Pat Fuller’s effete and affected English vocals. There is a permanent sneer in his voice and it gets tiresome fast. By the time the fifth song, “Delicate Pimp” begins you’re just wishing he would shut up and let the band play.
Musically Temper Temper isn’t too shabby. They could have easily took the easy route out and been goth poseurs, but instead they attack the glop rock aesthetic with fierceness and abandon. “Loaded Life” has some nifty psychedelic touches. I like the carnivalesque effects on “My God Is Gold” and “Bleed For Me Comrade” almost makes up for its stupid title with deft splashes of organ. “Cheap Little Target” sees the group heading into hippie jam band territory sounding like an updated Spirit at points. Temper Temper’s big weak point, besides Fuller’s voice, is that they can’t seem to write a good chorus. Right when you think a song is going to really begin to soar you’re left stranded on the launch pad. Only one song breaks that trend although “Sexy Little Cuts” also comes close and this leads to the question: is one song worth buying an album for?