Indie rock band Tempt recently released its debut EP Under My Skin. The New York based band’s debut record is something special, especially for fans of bands such as Def Leppard, Journey, Poison and others of that ilk. The band’s members—Zach Allen (vocals), Harrison Marcello (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jimmi Kane (drums), and Zak Gross (bass, vocals)—are way too young to have grown up in the 80s. But the sound that the band’s members collectively craft is one that displays such respect for the music of the era. It truly makes Tempt quite the rarity in the current era of rock music. The band transports audiences back to that era of big hair and equally big rock songs right off the top in the EP’s title track. That pomp and bombast doesn’t let up even in the slightest as the band moves into the EP’s second song. The song exhibits something of a Queensryche influence circa Rage for Order. And on the EP’s penultimate track, the 8-s big hair influence keeps rolling before the band closes things with a standard 80s ballad-style song. All things considered, anyone that is a fan of big rock and big hair will agree after hearing this EP that Under My Skin is one of the best of the year’s new EPs.
The members of Tempt look to be far too young to have grown up in the 80s. That hasn’t stopped the band from crafting an EP loaded with music that sounds like it has been kept in a time capsule for ages and pulled right from that era of big rock and big hair. This is obvious right off the top in the EP’s opener and title track. If one didn’t know any better, one would think this was Def Leppard, Journey, Poison, or another major name act that had its heyday in that era. Lyrically speaking, the song centers on the standard subject of a broken relationship. What’s most interesting about it here is not just the standard over-the-top nature of the song, but [Zach] Allen’s vocals on the song. He sings much in the same style as other big name vocalists from the day as he sings, “Stop and start many years ago/You was a looker that I/Got to know/Now I’m sitting here/The pain won’t die/With the letter saying you’ve left my side.” There is just a certain quality to his vocal style. And the song’s chorus brings about even more of that classic song style with the rest of the band joining in almost the same style as the aforementioned bands. It is pure retro rock joy for fans of that sound.
The first impression that the band makes on its brand new EP is just the beginning of the retro rock joy for fans of hair metal. ‘Use It Or Lose It’ comes second on the disc. Those that are more familiar with bands from the era of hair metal will hear influences from the likes of Queensryche right from the song’s opening riff and the chorus style vocals. The song is just as good a follow-up to ‘Under My Skin’ lyrically as it is musically. That’s because it follows a similar lyrical theme. Allen sings here about a woman that is bad news for all intents and purposes. He sings in the song’s opening verse, “She’ll steal your soul/Drag your mind through pouring rain/Take you down into the dark/She don’t feel no pain/But if I turn my back/Would you turn your eyes on them/Are you ready/Let the games begin.” He goes on to sing of the woman in question in the song’s second verse, “She’s a one-of-a-kind/A storm within a name/A natural disaster/But I want her just the same.” As with the EP’s opener, the style of Allen’s vocals and the song’s musical side together make this song sound like something right out of the 80s. And again, that taken into consideration fans of that sound will welcome this song in with arms and ears wide open.
Both ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Use It Or Lose It’ are impressive additions to the debut EP from Tempt. The third of the EP’s tracks, ‘The Fight’ instantly conjures thoughts of Journey and other more melodic rock bands of their time. Its forward-driving sound and infectious chorus of “It’s the fight that makes us stronger, baby/We both know you can see” will have audiences singing along in no time whether it be in their vehicle on the road or in their own living room/bedroom. Along with the previously noted songs, this song is just as much an arena anthem as them and the EP’s closing number. Allen and his band mates are seemingly singing about the fight that we have within ourselves to not give up. In this case, it seems to be the fight to not give up on a relationship. If that be the case, then the song takes quite the upbeat turn from so many songs rooted in relationship issues. It actually argues that there is hope for a relationship that would otherwise be broken. That and the song’s musical side together make this one of the EP’s best numbers. And together with the EP’s previously noted tracks, it makes the EP even more worth the listen especially by anyone that grew up a fan of the era of big hair and big rock. Audiences can listen to the title track from Under My Skin now via Tempt’s official website at http://www.temptband.com/#!listen/c1x9v.
Under My Skin can be purchased online via iTunes and Amazon.com or at the band’s next live performance. The band is next scheduled to perform live Friday, July 18th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. Audiences can keep up with the band’s tour schedule and all of the band’s latest news online both through its official website, http://www.temptband.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TemptBand. Audiences can also keep up with the latest from the band through its Twitter page, http://twitter.com/temptband and its Reverb Nation website, http://www.reverbnation.com/temptband. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.