“White Bear”, the second release from British rock band The Temperance Movement is a welcome sign of their steadfast course. Their debut tour of America saw them win the hearts and minds of rock fans at every gig. While our nation was suffering from social strife of racial riots and the coldest winter on record they were able to heal the American ideology through their music. It’s their authenticity that makes their sound so engaging. As they channel the great English blues bands of the gilded age of rock and roll they connected to the American masses. Yep, they may be from across the great pond but their music is as American as the 4th of July and apple pie. Fortunately White Bear doesn’t suffer from any let down. Sonically it is as pristine as mid-period Led Zeppelin…  If I recall, there was a well warranted adulation over the “Physical Graffiti” anniversary last year.  White Bear was conceived and recorded while the band was touring Europe. It maintains the integrity of their debut with unequivocal compromise. When so much  around us is duplicitous its The Temperance Movement that gives us solace.

White Bear 2The Temerance Movement live

Interpretations of the album’s message are bountiful among the press but it’s the spirit that is essential and makes us take homage.White Bear goes on a sonic sojourn that revives the American spirit. Singer, Phil Campbell proves there’s no sophomore slump or lack of direction. His ferocious growl just may prove he’s the best singer in rock and roll!  They did lose guitar titan and one of the founding members, Luke Potashnick due to personal reasons; yet his imprint is definitely embedded. Paul Sayer’s guitar playing is by no means left to chance while rhythm section  of Nick Fyffe on bass and drummer Damon Wilson keeps the album “swingin”. Their max abilities are realized by producer/engineer Sam Miller who reached deep to allow T.T.M record an album delivering one hell of a wallop. The album opens with “Three Bulleits” which has been a  salient staple to their “live” repertoire.

“White Bear” is  about America and the American condition. It tis’ made loud to be played loud! Their new album is an aural delight with its bumps, grinds and grunge. The album’s themes are up for interpretation; but it’s no coincidence or literary extrapolation that it can be  construed about the maltreatment of the Native American Indian as manifest destiny took our nation westward.

 

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The Infamous TTM Travel Journal         Phil Campbell

White Bear was the chief of the great Sioux tribe of the upper parts of the Dakotas and continued down to Kansas. His bravery was only eclipsed by his oracle abilities to unite the Indian tribes of the Great Plains. He took down Custer at the battle of Little Bighorn (aka. Custer’s Last Stand) even though they were out gunned by the Calvary. Chief White Bear became a international folk hero to those sympathetic to the American injustice to the Indians. The U.S. was healing from the Civil War and slavery. The building of the railroads required huge sums of money and the country was in severe debt with reconstruction. Newly elected President Grant sent General William Sherman, who single highhandedly brought the Confederacy to its knees by pillaging the American South was ordered to capture White Bear and push the Indians back to the reservation. This entailed killing the buffalo and merciless murdering of all Indian women and children. White Bear was eventually captured and became the first Indian tried in an American court.  He was sentenced to death by hanging but later was pardoned and given a life sentence believing it would quell Indian unrest that was effecting America’s fulfilling its dreams of expansion. While incarcerated White Bear committed suicide by jumping off one the prison’s buildings. His spirit would not go on without a fight; befitting of a great warrior!

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Chief White Bear           Custer’s Last Stand       Gen. William Sherman

The Temperance Movement have always been a band that’s represented righteousness while integrating spirit instead of hypocrisy.  Though its only February, “White Bear” just might be the best rock album of 2016! Always being compared to rock and roll from the gilded age of lore; but now they have established themselves as the “imitated” rather than the “imitator”…. Long Live the spirit of Chief White Bear and TTM.

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