Oscar Wilde apparently said ‘I can resist everything except temptation’ and That’s how I feel about this band from New York (with one member from Ontario).
The band are called Tempt and they believe they produce Rock music for the modern age. They don’t, they actually produce older music for many ages.
Allow me to explain…
It stands for Adult Orientated Rock, although there’s discussion around that, and I lived it.
I’m aged enough to have been there when AOR was at its pomp, when Journey filled arenas and ruled the airwaves with their ‘Escape’ and ‘Frontiers’, when Toto broke though with the ‘Africa’ and ‘Rosanna’ singles from ‘IV’.
And also when Pop AOR like Cutting Crew’s ‘Broken Wings’ and ‘Go West’s ‘We Close Our Eyes’ we’re at the top if the UK charts. This was the early and especially mid-80’s and for a youngsters who loved all Rock, it was amazing to see so many people agree with you.
The AOR genre is burgeoning.
It’s a three-headed situation:
1. The labels (yes, there are still labels in this style of music) realised the fans were in jobs which afforded them some spare income and they still bought CDs.
And so obscure AOR albums get deluxe releases, done very well too.
2. Bands were split cinema together or actually never stopped but do bigger tours, release new music and find another career later on in theirs.
3. Younger people listen to their parents’ music collections and form bands (this is also happening in NWOBHM).
And this success adds one problem. There are a lot of bands fighting for air in one place, in fact on AOR avenue, they’ve had to build into Melodic Rock Mews.
So you have to stand out. Tempt really do.
From the moment a sinuous bass line greets you on opener ‘Welcome Me In’, this self-titled album sounds special.
They even bring it down to electric piano and lush harmonies before getting busy again. Welcome, indeed.
Credit; Misplaced Straws
And hi top sneaker bopping Def Leppard make an appearance in ‘Living Dangerously’ but by ‘Burn Me Down’ and ‘Camouflage’ Tempt are firmly in mid 80’s ‘Top Of The Pops‘ and I was singing along to the latter on first listen.
They don’t stay at the fluffier side of the AOR street either, but they don’t veer off at a tangent, they simply ramp up the guitars slightly and shout ‘this could be Melodic Rock!’
So ‘Sneakin’ Around’ (dig that missing G…) pushes the frets a little in the chorus and earns louche liedown in the verse, adding sumptuous harmonies from there and a huge six string solo and ‘Golden Tongue’ might chug along merrily, but it has smooth Soul at its heart.
Remember the annoyance in some quarters when Journey’s ‘Raised On Radio’ showed some Soul in ‘Positive Touch’ and ‘Suzanne’? Of course not, it was 1986, but I do, and that Soul, even sax, influence, was huge in that period of AOR.
Yes, modulated, but that is an unmistakable Disco feel slap bang in the middle of ‘Girl’, working with big bass and almost parping. It shouldn’t work at all, but through audacity it really does, it almost challenges you to dislike it. Challenge accepted….I can’t, it’s too good!
Can They Tempt You?
With music like this, absolutely. Well delivered by vocalist Zach Allen, Harrison Marcello on the bass, bassist Chris Gooden and joining him Nicholas Burrows on drums; the production is perky but it never gives you a headache.
Chris Lord-Alge, who produced the album, told Rock N’ Load;
‘TEMPT is a band poised to redefine the rock genre for a new generation. Their commitment to pushing boundaries and their musical prowess created an environment where creativity knew no bounds. Together, we’ve crafted a sonic journey that bridges generations, delivering a sound that’s both timeless and cutting-edge.’
And Rock royalty Brian May said of their cover of ‘We Will Rock You’;
‘What a great version of our ancient tune. Tempt I’m all ears.’
This band look good in photos that smoulder, possess great songs and have given themselves a cheeky little name. Many people will be tempted here. Including me.