FAKE NOSTALGIA: An Anthology of Broken Stuff
Tempertwig were formed in 1999 and split up in 2004. They were comprised of Ben Parker (Vocals/Guitar), Adam Parker (Drums) and Daniel Debono (Bass) but never made an album during their time together. Brothers Ben and Adam did go on to form Nosferatu D2 who had the distinguished honor of being a "cult" band (and a very good one at that). Now, some of their surviving recordings have been compiled on a collection called FAKE NOSTALGIA: An Anthology of Broken Stuff. On the basis of this collection, the band were like a faster Slint (they certainly loved their harmonics) or a more battle-beaten Art Brut (Ben Parker's mostly spoken vocals are full of cutting barbs and pop culture references, he's just not so concerned with life's high points). Judging by the raw quality of these recordings, it's quite surprising that the band didn't gain more recognition whilst they were together, although this was the era when The White Stripes, The Libertines and The Strokes were emerging so maybe people just weren't in the mood for miserableness at that point. Luckily for us though, the Audio Antihero and Randy Sadage labels do like their overlooked outsiders, so the band are finally getting their moment in the limelight. The opening track ("Bratpack Film Philosophy") is an angst ridden, darkly humorous song which takes notes from post rock, emo and and slacker-rock and sets the (pissed-off) tone for the rest of music on the LP. This is quiet and introverted music characterised by intricate guitar patterns, restrained bass and drumming which verges on free-jazz. Generally speaking though, the quietness makes way for angry blasts of youthful noise. The bass gets twangy and gallops along with the occasional guitar fuzz and the erratic jazz drumming goes almost metal in its ferocity. Sometimes they ditch the slower/quieter bits altogether, like on the Violent Femmes-esque "Falling Apart" and the scathing "Apricot" with the killer line which subtitles this collection: "Fake nostalgia makes me sick". A philosophy that is probably more relevant now, than it was back then. The band even channel the Californian sunshine on "Everything Can Be Derailed", with a gloriously melodic, blissed-out guitar line entering the mix, along with some more traditional / tuneful singing. The brief shards of light dissipate eventually though and we're left with a wall of distortion and gradually angrier vocals, in-keeping with Tempertwig's default setting. In another - more just - world you'd probably have loved this band back in the early 2000s. We don't live in a world like that, but you can partially make amends by grabbing this album nearly 20 years later.