Temper Temper by Bullet For My Valentine
My introduction to Bullet For My Valentine’s fourth studio record was the title track ‘Temper Temper’ when it was released as first single way back in October. It is one of the few songs that demonstrate any genuine intensity and aggression but while it’s mostly inoffensive it isn’t particularly interesting and doesn’t meet the bar set on previous records. Second single ‘Riot’ is comparatively toned down and features a hilariously bad chorus with little else worth mentioning, so these teasers left me somewhat underwhelmed but I can now say there is better stuff to be heard on the final record… and worse.
After Matthew Tuck’s involvement with AxeWound I was hoping that perhaps a couple of elements from the supergroup’s heavier sound might have leaked their way into Bullet’s new record. Instead ‘Temper Temper’ has decided to re-tread old ground but seemingly dropped some of its potency along the way.
The songs mostly follow a similar formula; they’re short and snappy relying on chugging riffs, generic strumming and simple drum beats with Matt doing little more than talking his way through verses before whatever track in question descends into the melodic, catchy pop-metal choruses that Bullet For My Valentine is renowned for. Sometimes this formula works really well like on openers ‘Breaking Point’ and ‘Truth Hurts’ which are really strong numbers that would go down a storm live, the rest of the time it’s generally dull and repetitive. Bullet has always balanced heavy with radio-friendly but this time round the more fierce songs are bogged down by too much of the latter. Nothing bold or new to be found here but basically a lacklustre version of their previous album ‘Fever’ (which I actually quite like).
Aside from the openers I just mentioned which are easily my favourite fist- pumpers on the album there are only two other songs that I genuinely get excited about, next in line is ‘Dirty Little Secrets’. The intro suggests a speedy track will emerge but it actually breaks down into slower territory. Clean guitars on top of very catchy verse vocals and a simple, yet effective bridge solo. The song picks up the pace towards the end and is only really let down by the crappy chorus lines (more on that later).
‘Dead To The World’ is the fourth song I’d actually want to go back and listen to, and it’s bloody good! A soulful power ballad that has some great guitar melodies throughout and on the bridge it moves into one of the more interesting and ballsy instrumental sections to be heard on the album. You’ll also find a pretty cool shredding solo on this one and of course, the catchy pop-metal chorus (one of the stronger ones I might add). Yes, I am aware of the irony that I complain about too much mainstream on the album and then pick a ballad as a favourite!
I seldom talk about lyrics in my reviews but I feel the need to bring it up this time round as they really bugged me throughout:
“Your invitation, it doesn’t exist, so tell me why you keep crashing the party. No invitation but you can’t resist. So tell me why you keep crashing the party.” – Leech
“Here come the sirens, here comes the law, whoa! Run from the sirens, run from the law, whoa!” – Riot
… but wait!! There’s more…
“Straight for the throat, you’re like an animal. In for the kill, like you’re an animal. Straight for the throat, you’re an animal.” – ‘Dirty Little Secret’
These are just teasers of the “mind-blowing” verbal engineering to be heard on ‘Temper Temper’. The funny thing is, when I first watched the music video for ‘Riot’ somebody put a comment up on youtube saying they thought the band was trying too hard. I’ve gotta dispute this, with those lyrics I’d say they’re not trying at all!
I actually bought the deluxe edition of the album, which features an extra track ‘Not Invincible’ which is actually also pretty solid… shame it didn’t make the cut on the standard record.
In all seriousness, ‘Temper Temper’ is not terrible and there’s a reasonable amount of catchy pop-metal to be found but whether I judge it exclusively on its’ own merits or compare it against the previous records I still reach the same conclusion; it’s just boring! The first two tracks are the best on the whole album and the remainder tries and mostly fails to recapture the same energy. ‘Scream Aim Fire’ still keeps the title as my favourite Bullet For My Valentine album while this sits firmly at the bottom. If you’re not already a fan then I’ll be very surprised if this is the record to convert you, and if you are a fan then I’ll be even more surprised if you consider this Bullet’s finest work to date.
Dirty Little Secret*
Leech Dead To The World*
Saints & Sinners
Don’t Fall (part 2)
Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of A Knife)
Review by Al Westlake
*Check these out!