The Temper Trap : The Temper Trap
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The Temper Trap : The Temper Trap

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It’s been an impatient wait for the thronging masses seduced by The Temper Trap’s debut, Conditions, in 2009. It took a while, but the band finally pulled themselves off the road long enough to record a more mature, diverse exploration of that mish-mash of genres so uniquely their own. The group has grown in more ways than one – quite literally – and now call themselves a five-piece with the permanent addition of keyboardist Joseph Greer.

A self-proclaimed “heartbreak” record, the self-titled offering from the London-based Melbournites shows a band willing to put its heart on its sleeve. A lyrical depth creates an emotional intensity that underpins the entire album, be it in new single (and new sync for Channel 7’s Revenge) Trembling Hands or electro-pop builder Where Do We Go From Here. We could see it coming with first single Need Your Love, yet another sync for Channel 7, this time Packed To The Rafters. Back at what you do best, boys.

At the centre of it all is that voice. Hoffer has brought out the best in Dougy Mandagi, who manipulates his sublime talent to take control of every register, and proves he’s more than a one-trick falsetto pony. And then there’s the moments one register is simply not enough, perfectly illustrated in Rabbit Hole. It’s the marriage of vocals and instrumentals, first sparse and acoustic then a full-bodied rock-out, that works so well in this climactic album highlight. The only problem with that song – it’s too damn short!

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the album, however, is a tribute to the London riots of 2011, London Burning. Managi saw it all spiral out of control from his apartment window in Hackney and, evoking the spirit of The Clash in a reverse call to arms against the rioters, opens the door to a whole new sound for the band.

Already debuting at No. 1 on the ARIA Chart and with strong support from radio already, it’s looking likely that this may be the one to tip the band past the million mark Conditions drew every so close to. 

BY JEN WILSON

Best Track: Rabbit Hole

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