The Tempers | Mauled

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Rock: Rock & Roll Pop: Garage Pop Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by The Tempers

Genre: Rock: Rock & Roll
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Crabtree and Evelyn
3:05 $0.99
2. White House/Black Market
2:23 $0.99
3. Bebe
2:20 $0.99
4. Chico\'s
3:06 $0.99
5. Aeropostale
2:28 $0.99
6. Marble Slab
2:49 $0.99
7. Ann Taylor
2:37 $0.99
8. Nine West
2:40 $0.99
9. Hollister
2:32 $0.99
10. Kenneth Cole
2:34 $0.99
11. Let\'s Go Straight
2:36 $0.99
12. Metro Park
3:10 $0.99
13. Sephora
2:47 $0.99
14. Claire\'s Boutique
2:47 $0.99
15. J.Jill
3:05 $0.99
16. Forever 21
3:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Before The Tempers (and still on occasion), Mattei was known for solo acoustic gigs and minimalist (often just acoustic guitar and vocals) CD releases that showcased his deft songwriting talents. But Mattei sounds like a new man with The Tempers, developing a catchy Garage Pop style that at times recalls AM radio hits from the ’60s. The band itself is aces, with Bill Grapes and Mike Grimm, formerly of Garage greats The Mortals, supplying bass and drums, and Rick Howell offering agile harmonica.

The cleverly-titled Mauled is the full-band version of Mattei’s acoustic project, Kenwood Towne Center which featured songs named after stores located in the area mall (this new version includes three songs not on the original project). The production and arrangements of the songs are fantastic, giving the album a real diversity, moving from stirring piano balladry (“White House/Black Market”) to newer-Dylan Roots Rock (“Chico’s”) to Euro street Folk (“Aeropostale”) to hooky, vintage-styled Pop Rock (“Let’s Go Straight,” “Crabtree & Evelyn”). Even the less “filled out,” more minimal tracks are laced with majestic additives like lush strings, piano tinkles and Howell’s tasty harmonica licks.

The mall “theme,” thankfully, is mostly limited to the song titles – this isn’t a concept album about working the hot-pretzel stand at the mall. As usual with Mattei, the songwriting is top-notch, deep and poetic and full of concise, erudite character studies and stories. But with The Tempers’ assistance, Mattei’s delivery has become more animated and varied.

- Mike Breen music column in City Beat Magazine

Last year, local singer/songwriter Maurice Mattei wrote a batch of songs that were inspired by the names he found on the directory at the Kenwood Towne Centre. He assembled them in a project he titled, appropriately enough, Kenwood Towne Center. The disc’s vocals-and-acoustic-guitar demo format was intended to be an ephemeral representation of the songs, released on CD-R and sporadically distributed while Mattei and his group The Tempers (bassist Bill Grapes, drummer Mike Grimm, harpist Rick Howell) worked on fuller band arrangements.

With the cleverly titled Mauled, Mattei and The Tempers officially release KTC’s themed songs including a handful that didn’t make the original set (like the song that originally launched the concept, the Elvis Costello-touched “Crabtree & Evelyn”). As starkly powerful as Mattei’s songs were on KTC, he and the band invest these versions with a fresh energy. There’s the Graham Parker/Paul Westerberg swing of “Metropark,” the Dylan/T-Bone Burnett guitarslinger lope of “Ann Taylor” and the Neil Young-meets-Dashiell Hammett Folk noir of “Hollister.” Mattei’s bare bones methodology on Kenwood Towne Center made for a compelling listen but adding The Tempers to the mix on Mauled gives the songs new textures and tones that were only hinted at in their original incarnation. Impossibly, Maurice Mattei has made great songs even greater.

- Brian Baker from "I Shall Be Released" column in City Beat Magazine



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