The Temper Trap have been Australia’s favorite alternative rock band since their summer anthem Sweet Disposition graced our ears in 2009 and become the festival anthem for many in what was the two-year golden period of indie-alternative music. Since then, both the Australian and indie-alternative scene have been lacking somewhat with very few releases grabbing our full attention. However, the return of our favorite export with their self-titled album The Temper Trap may be a forecast for the return of those brief golden years that were experienced between 2009 and 2010.
The album opens with the feel-good electronica-infused Need Your Love that sees the five-piece take a somewhat alternative direction to their debut album, which cleared nearly one million copies. Need Your Love lacks the uplifting guitar riffs that made the band an international success; however, this is not a drawback, in fact it represents a more mature and matriculate approach to their music, diversifying their sound and experimenting, showing that they are not a band who will repeat the sound that they know is successful.
London’s Burning features a sample of a news broadcaster, discussing the riots that took place nearly a year ago. This is a clear influence on the album as the band was situated in Hackney, not far from the riots. As the album progresses, Trembling Hands and Miracles show the band’s range as they diversify their sound, confirming that they are not still riding the Sweet Disposition bandwagon, which has been terribly hard for them to escape.
However, the diversified and individual image that the band have developed throughout the album, and the depth that comes with this, is dampened by lead single Rabbit Hole. Although the track itself is highly impressive, it feels somewhat generic as if it were a Radiohead B-Side or an early Coldplay demo. The doubt about the band’s originality in sound is quickly quashed with tracks such as The Sea Is Calling, which sports an irresistible guitar line, intoxicating all listeners. The more upbeat This is Happiness reiterates the vocal range of Dougy Mandagi as he powers through the flawless lyrics.
When recording started for this album, the band had to create something truly special to overcome the shadow of Conditions and live up to their name, and through the release of their self-titled album, they have definitely done so. An album that is rich in depth and oozes musical goodness, The Temper Trap will be an album to remember.