The brand new 10-song full-length studio album Temptator! by The Blackwater Fever, is the Brisbane-based group’s sixth release and it is a buoyant mix of punk, grunge and acid rock all infused with blues-laden lyrics, which are clever and thought-provoking.
The first track, “Love is Strange”, is an ode to love gone wrong….very wrong! Equal parts desperation and resignation, all laid out with a bass-heavy alt-rock feel.
The love gone wrong theme continues with “My Weakness”, a murky look at an obsessive love that tears you apart emotionally. The lover eventually accepts that the weakness is slowly killing him.
“Now I rust and I bleed
I’m sick and diseased
I’ll never knock on heaven’s door
When I’m dead lay me deep ’n low”
This is good, dramatic songwriting at its best.
“The Hurt” is a slow boil of a song that just works so well! Through the driving rhythm and the painful cries there is a building of mournfulness that eventually reaches a crashing wave of despair. When you come out on the other side, the track simply ends beautifully and perfectly.
“Ode to Ol’ John Doe” is exquisitely different, slightly deranged and 100% enjoyable!
“The river she cries
And the willow replied
Don’t weep for him”
If you were to take Ludo’s, “Lake Pontchartrain”, lose the satire and strip it down to its basic feeling of desperation, you would get “Ode to Ol’ John Doe.” This song crosses so many genres of music that it surely has an appeal to everyone.
“The Slew” and “The Highway” are shadowy and dreary, while at the same time hard-driving and frenetic, total bad-ass tracks, worthy of a blues or punk fan.
This reviewers favorite track is “If You Only Knew.”
“I haul my shadow down Into the woods
And I head to the end of the line
By light of the moon
Now I’ve dug this hole so deep
That it’s caving in on me”
Shane Hicks paints the most vivid picture of the desolation of a desperate man. Each verse ends as an apology of sorts to his mother, his lover and finally his daughter. The instruments are perfectly understated to give power to the lyrics. I hope this track gets the airplay it deserves!
Temptator! is an album that is a perfect, tangible model of how to blend several musical styles for maximum listening delight.