Review: Tempt – ‘Tempt’

With the much-missed UK music journalist Malcolm Dome championing their cause, NYC-based outfit Tempt raised a few eyebrows with the UK & EU release of their debut album ‘Runaway’ way back in 2016. Now, with the might of Better Noise Music (5FDP, Papa Roach, Asking Alexandria, amongst many others) behind them, finally, the four-piece are about to release their self-titled sophomore album. The phrase “long-awaited” doesn’t even begin to cut it. We are bordering on Titanic’s old lady “It’s been 84 years” GIF levels of wait here. Which is insane considering exactly how young the four members of Tempt are.

Being young means that the four members of Tempt still have that youthful lust for life and have yet to become cynical and jaded with the music business, and the world in general. And it shows in their music. 11 tracks of high-energy, fun, and well-crafted modern pop-rock music that is certain to cure whatever ails ya for thirty minutes or so.

The easy comparison to go straight to is Def Leppard. Listen to the shots of adrenaline that are ‘Living Dangerous (feat. Dorothy)’, ‘Burn Me Down’, and ‘Hideaway’, and if after gorging on the soaring melodic guitars and the nailed-on layered backing vocals Sheffield’s finest don’t spring to mind then, well, duh, why not? Vocalist Zach Allen has one of those voices that you instantly warm to, and yes, he does sound like a young Joe Elliott (who just happens to be a fan of Tempt). Co-produced and mixed by Grammy Award-winner Chris Lord-Alge, ‘Tempt’ could easily have the name Mutt Lange emblazoned across it for there are so many Lange-isms featured within; namely that hi-gloss sheen that Lange is famous for. But there is also quite a ballsy edge to ‘Tempt’ that Lange was not so famous for (AC/DC excluded, naturally), and opening track ‘Welcome Me In’ is a perfect slab of big-ass bass lines and fiery riffage, courtesy of Chris Gooden, and Harrison Marcello respectively – the latter is especially impressive and packs in some gorgeous guitar licks, as he does throughout the entire album.

In the words of Huey Lewis “…We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time…” and Tempt uses that thought as their mantra. The Extreme-tinged ‘Golden Tongue’ is as simple in its execution as it gets, but it is also as infectious as it gets. Equally as infectious – and impressive – is the finger-clicking ‘Sneakin’ Around’ which is only a few degrees of separation away from a Harry Styles song. Or if you prefer, a ballsier Harry Styles. Either should be on wall-to-wall rotation on US mainstream radio, but mainstream radio doesn’t know what to do with songs that come with a guitar solo. Same with ‘Roses’, Jeez, the guitars from Harrison Marcello sound like they are singing to you.

A live act of some standing, Tempt (completed by Nicholas Burrows on drums) are like The Struts and are a band that could equally play to a field of metal fans one day and a field of Harry Styles or Taylor Swift fans the next. Spotify was made for a band like Tempt because younger music fans don’t really care for genres and go with what sounds good to them. Slip the folks at Spotify HQ a manila envelope full of Benjamins to get Tempt onto a modern pop music playlist and sit back and watch the streams rack up by the millions. “Pop” is short for “popular” after all.

Available August 25th via Better Noise Music

Review – Dave


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