The dark rock from under which the UK's finest contemporary psychobilly-punkers crawled in 2002 was full of ghoulish blood, and now with Blood & Fire, they are finally back to wring it dry. It's been six years since The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster's last long-player and in between albums they've been beset by multiple changes in guitarist and by the indignity of having to return to "normal" jobs.
Only the caustic In the Garden EP, which housed some ferocious live versions of fans' favourites and a few new rockers bridged these barren years, and, albeit with the slight concession of being studio produced, Blood & Fire picks up where it, not previous LP The Royal Society, left off. The silly schlock-shock of tracks like "Puppy Dog Tails" is nowhere to be found. TEMBLD have been on a diet, and Blood & Fire's no-messing rock is the result.
Guy McKnight remains the band's unpredictable firebrand, yelping and screaming as appropriate. There's nothing to rival the fireworks of the debut's "Celebrate Your Mother", but "I Hate The Blues" is nearest to the close Goth-metal shimmy of that period. The album's opener and lead single "Love Turns To Hate" utilises a literally smashing intro rife with whammy bar indulgence and juggernaut riffs. It's a considered stomp, and, with its clear chorus, suitable for getting the darkest of parties started.
The balladesque (for this band it's close enough) beauty of the reflective "So Long Goodnight" provides a little surprise but little overall weight, but elsewhere Blood & Fire is largely macabre cabaret-rock by numbers. Lurching tempos compete with the band's trademark filthy bass, as best heard on "Mission From God" before the track breaks into breathy pummelling. In both its senses, the drums take on battery duty for "Under My Chin" and accordingly they sound thoroughly unpleasant and beefier than a summerful of barbeques throughout. "Man For All Seasons" even thinks to throw in a 80s power-metal riff at the last minute.
Though otherwise fairly predictable, the album is nevertheless exciting. Blood & Fire is primal and elemental, and great surges of energy such as on the screamo thrash of "Monsieur Cutts" prove it. TEMBLD have been more appealing, but never more consistent, never angrier and never louder. Do them proud and crank it up in their honour.
The long awaited third album is absolutely awesome. It is somewhere between the first and second album in terms of musical style and is a bit more mainstream than the others. However, that said it is an absolute triumph once again. This band are awesomely consistent and somewhat underrated in my opinion.
The album still has Guy McKnight's unique vocals in which he does push his vocal talents further by extending to some higher ranges when required. They still sound genre-defining and totally unique.
They certainly display some musical talent on this album and the lead guitarist is absolutely 'wow', especially live. He's like a frenzied ball of bushy hair and you certainly hear his playing talents live.
The album is stand out all the way through. The first two tracks are very much first album Eighties style and rock. There is even a bit more a ballady sounding track, The Long Goodnight which works. The whole album works. Under My Chin shows some System of a Down influences, there are also some Queens of the Stone Age influences along with, what I have heard is the unintential Elvis, Cult sounds generated by Guy's vocals.
As I said check out some of the lead guitar work, like the Man For All Seasons, with the drawling lead work accompanying Guy's rockabilly style vocals, its very atmospheric and a triumph. You can really here the guitar talent live on the track.
This is a definite five star album which I can't stop playing. I feel that they could step up even further maybe by bring the lead guitarist's superb talent forward in the mix in some songs.
The album sounds rocky, punky, futuristic in different parts and I feel that this album could bring them to a larger audience. They have earned it with this one if they want that.
I recommend this for a wide variety of music fans, from fans of SOAD, QOTSA through to fans of punk, Goth and Indie, it even has elements of the Doors and the Coral.
Are you Living? Well you'll certainly feel the verve and rage of damn good rock and roll music thru the new, and long awaited LP by TEMBLD. Slight departures in sound and songwriting on some tracks, such as the splendid loping "So Long,Good Night" and more of the old psychosis on tracks such as "Mission from God". The band are in top form, as is Mr McKnights voice. A progreesive LP without losing any of the vim and vigour, and certainly well worth the wait to hear new stuff from this most singular of bands.
Following a first album that got rave reviews from music fans and industry and a second that was deemed a bit of a miss (even though I still loved it personally) this 3rd album after a good few years away (they did release a mini album before this new one, but no one seems to mention that coming out).
It opens with the first single 'When Love Turns To Hate' which is amazing, dirty rock n roll, musically, vocally and lyrically as perfect as anything you'll hear all year. From this point in the album is astonishing, full of great heavy bass and drum driven songs with vocals and guitar hooks that bring back the love for this band. If you like your rock dirty give this album a try. I did notice some vocal changes, more so live than this recording on one track that had a certain kings of leon vibe, which disappeared once the song gets really going. Another couple of tracks had a Queens of the stone age vibe to them. So maybe if you are into the heavier end of Kings of leon and qosa then this could be an album you'll enjoy. But remember this is 'Blood & Fire' not 'Sex on Fire' though. :)