Charlotte’s Temperance League readies full-length debut
“Put down your pride and raise your glass,” goes the passionate rock & roll sentiment that kicks off “Pursuits of the Past,” the anthemic opening track from the debut of Charlotte’s vintage rock protagonists, Temperance League.
The band’s raucous power pop longplayer delivers the retribution of a fire-and-brimstone sermon served up in the local cavern’s mosh pit, and fans will get a chance to pick up a copy of the self-titled LP (plus download code) at the band’s release party at Charlotte’s Snug Harbor, Friday, Sept. 7. That caps a busy day for Temperance League, who play a Hopscotch day party — The Old North State Showcase at Tir na nOg with Gray Young, Naked Gods, The Catch Fire and Red Collar — in the afternoon.
The Charlotte-based quintet recorded the LP with Mitch Easter at the producer’s Fidelitorium studio, and the band’s musical inclinations clearly dovetailed with the veteran power popper’s production. The clean, straightforward sonics highlight Temperance League’s jangling 12-stringers, swinging-but-rock-solid rhythm section, and singer Bruce Hazel’s gruff and urgent calls to arms. You may hear echoes of Roy Orbison, The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen, the Attractions, Big Star and the Ramones, but the band claims its own territory in the blending thereof.
But why not let the reclusive super-critic and witty woman of letters Prudence LeStrange, writing the LP’s liner notes from her Marrakesh hotel hideout, describe a couple of tracks as only she can:
The Story — Remember in the 60s when Springsteen was a teenage Rhodes Scholar and met the Yardbirds one day on Carnaby Street and they decided to put on a show to save the local community center? Well, if that had happened, this song would’ve ended that show…and the community center would’ve been saved!
I Don’t Wanna — Grown-up, break-up power pop. Kinda like if all the Nuggets bands had a party and things got a little strange in the hot tub so no one could look each other in the eye the next day at breakfast. What’s that called? A doppelbang?
With liner notes like that, how could the music not be an ecstatic journey through the power pop souk? It is, as this cut – one of four previously released 7-inch tracks — attests. – JG Mellor