TEMPT – Tempt (2023)
In the few years since their formation, NYC melodic rock outfit TEMPT have created a style, verve, vibe and quality that is of their own making. Their tailored virtuosity is reminiscent of the giant rock acts of the 70s and 80s with a layer of timelessness that makes their music instantly memorable.
The band – Zach Allen (lead vocals), Harrison Marcello (lead guitar), Christopher Gooden (bass) and Nicholas Burrows (drums) already pleased us with their wonderful firat album some years ago, and now are set to release their new, self-titled album on August 25.
The album was co-produced & mixed by ’80s AOR guru Grammy Award-winner Chris Lord-Alge and guitarist Marcello at Sticky Audio Labs in NYC, mastered by legend Ted Jensen.
Suffice to say, the band is talented, but would that talent translate effectively into new material? The answer in an emphatic YES! This album is a step up from their debut, showcasing the band’s ability to write ultra-catchy hard rock with a pop sensibility that is reminiscent of their 80s counterparts.
This album has been a long time coming, but the band has been playing these songs for years live. They have had plenty of time to master the arrangements and craft these tracks for maximum impact.
The CD opens with ‘Welcome Me In’ which starts with a solid riff from Marcello before he secedes the reins of the song to Chris Gooden who provides a solid bass line with a slight funk edge. Harrison soon follows his lead with a choppy guitar rhythm to match before a bridge slows things down a brief moment before a powerful chorus kicks things into gear. The guitar sound and vocals here are huge and the track is one of my favorites on the album.
I’m going to cut to the chase and get to my favorite track, ‘Hideaway’. I’m shocked it has not been released as a single as of this writing. It’s one of TEMPT best songs and has the feel of a tune like Danger Danger’s ‘Bang Bang’. Pure ear candy with a catchy melody that will stick with you for days. So glad to have an official version after four years.
‘Living Dangerous’ is a perfect representation of the band’s sound. Tight, catchy, and dripping with melodic goodness. New to the scene rocker Dorothy sings co-lead and her and lead singer Zack Allen blend well together.
All these songs are great, so I’ll point out two more. ‘Camouflage’ utilizes some audio effects in the bridge and chorus that are very reminiscent of one of their influences, Def Leppard. Drummer Nick Burrows’ playing brings the right amount of swing to this track and makes it a standout.
‘Girl’ is another song that incorporates some funky elements and melodic sensibilities, in an effective rhythm not dissimilar from what you would hear from a band like Talisman yet more ‘American’.
Regarding the production, when you get such notable names like Chris Lord-Alge and Ted Jensen (mastering) at the helm, you’re going to get a great sounding album. However, there’s a pop-rock approach here that takes away a bit of an edge to the band.
Everything sound fine, however TEMPT would have benefited from a bit more rawness to their sound. Anyway, you will surely love the glossiness of the production.
I would love to know the story behind the nine-year delay of this album. I am sure the lockdowns had a component but there must be more to the story. We should be on album four with these guys
I’m only complaining because I feel like we have been deprived of something special. We get plenty of bands from Europe with a clear understanding of how to construct quality melodic hard rock, so it’s great to see a band from New York know what it takes to write excellent melodic rock tunes.
”Tempt” is an album that needs to be sought out by all ’80s aficionados. Let’s just hope for a shorter hiatus between albums going forward.
01 – Welcome Me In
02 – Living Dangerous (feat. Dorothy)
03 – Two Ways
04 – Burn Me Down
05 – Hideaway
06 – Camouflage
07 – Golden Tongue
08 – Sneakin’ Around
09 – Roses
10 – Girl
11 – Addicted To Touch
Zach Allen (lead vocals)
Harrison Marcello (guitar, vocals)
Christopher Gooden (bass)
Nicholas Burrows (drums)