With their fifth studio effort since 2011, Temperance League is doing their best to earn the "hardest working band" in Charlotte label. Comprised of some of the Queen City's best musicians and songwriters — singer Bruce Hazel, guitarist Shawn Lynch, drummer David DK Kim, keyboardist Jay Garrigan, bassist Eric Scott and guitarist Chad Wilson — fans have always appreciated the group's straight-forward, blue-collar approach to rock 'n' roll.
Day of the Dove continues that tradition, though it might also be a kinder, gentler Temperance League. It's tough to listen to these songs and picture the beer swilling/spitting, raucous group of the past. Where previous efforts were straight out of the garage with their raw edges, this one leans more toward lyrical content and a bit of experimentation.
Opening tracks "Feel Like I'm Falling in Love" and "Like New" are written straight from the heart with themes of love while "Cathedral in the Sky" offers hints of '60s psychedelia. "Begin Again" might be the album's strongest track with its sparse instrumentation and its emotive vocals from Hazel. Meanwhile, "Welcome to the World" proves there's still plenty of Springsteen influence — in the best way possible — in Hazel's vocals and songwriting, while the ever-present jangly guitarwork of Lynch is strong throughout helping with a retro feeling that doesn't sound dated or overdone.
From start to finish, Temperance League proves their worth as one of Charlotte's finest rock bands while proving they don't have to reinvent the wheel if what they've always done has been solid from the start. It's a no-bullshit approach that has worked for them from day one and continues on.