Optic Nerve Recordings
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Review Of The Tempest 5 Against The House from Whisperinandhollerin

Review: 'TEMPEST, THE'
'5 Against The House'   

-  Label: 'Optic Nerve'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '8th July 2016'

Our Rating:
I guess you could say serendipity led me to review this album in that I previously bought a CD by a band called Venus Fly Trap on spec in a record shop in Northampton. I have put a few twos together now and realised that the man in the record shop was in Venus Fly Trap and also The Tempest and I think he was the singer in both bands. If this is wrong then math never was my strong suit (nor was your English-Ed.).

Anyway, this reissue has new artwork by the man himself and rather nice it is too. The Tempest also included Mark Refoy who went on to play guitar in Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized. The Tempest were around just long enough to record this album and this reissue includes 3 non LP bonus tracks. This album is post-punk from 1984 and as such is of its time and that's no bad thing, especially if that was the soundtrack to your youth.

Things kick off with indie chart hit 'Montezuma' and rightly so as it is classic post-punk and stupidly catchy. "Sugar and spice and all things nice". It drills into your head with its semaphore keyboard motif and descending chords. 'Lady Left This' is a short up-tempo number and sounds like a live number.

'Ice Cold In' ramps up the punk including trash can percussion. 'Which One' starts like a 2-bit Kraftwerk and then indie guitar takes over. It's definitely more of an album track. 'Better And Better' could be worse and has some good guitar work on it. 'Big Black Cadillac' reminds me a bit of long-lost Mancunians New Fast Automatic Daffodils' or maybe even ACR. 'Clara Bow' introduces fiddling into the mix and is a bit avant-garde.

'Miss Deep Freeze' spookily takes things down and stretches itself for eight minutes while the drum machiner gets wicked. 'Eat The Wall' lays down a funky bass line and trumpet and piano sort of pitch in with their little bits. 'At A Low Ebb' brings back the post-punk and you can see the similarity here vocally with Joy Division. It is probably my favourite track. 'Blame It On The Breeze' rounds things off nicely. Bonus tracks on the CD are 'Attic', 'The Calm Before' and 'ABC' (extended).
  author: Leo Newbiggin

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