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Temper Tantrums Present Drummer Girl, Where Are You?
Artist: The Temper Tantrums
Label: Red Tag Records
Length: 16 tracks / 47:00
It's been said that the worst label that can be placed on a ballplayer, or on a band for that matter, is the old chestnut "He's got potential." Unfortunately, this label applies all too well to the Temper Tantrums, who have put together a good album, but one lacking in elements that would make it great.
I have to admit that I broke one of the cardinal rules of reviewing. When I popped the shrinkwrap on my copy, I immediately noticed "My Boyfriend's Back" among the track listings. I jumped directly to track 12 and immediately loved it. Easily, it is the standout track here.
Over the course of sixteen tracks, Leanne and Effie Tantrum, along with their cast of backing players, craft some decent pop-punk with hints of New Wave influence and cover a wide range of topics. These range from the silly ("Thrift Store Boy," an ode to the thrift-store-chic shopper who can put together an outfit for under $10) to the extremely serious ("Everyday," which speaks in detail about people in abusive relationships).
It is in part that diversity that hurts this album; it's hard to take a girl seriously singing about hurt and broken relationships when she just finished singing about the lack of snow at Christmas and then follows it with "I want to be a Powerpuff Girl." I appreciate a band with a sense of humor, but it might be hard to be both silly AND serious.
Leanne's voice fits the music well, but won't sit well with everyone; there's not a lot of vocal variation. Also, a few of the songs seem to go on much longer than they have lyrics for.
There's plenty of raw talent and potential here; the girls, who are looking for a girl drummer (hence the title), put on a solid live show. This is a group that I think could grow into an excellent group. For now, if you're a fan of fun and poppy music, check this out; if you're not already a genre fan, this may not be the album to start with.
Josh Marihugh 8/10/2003