Friday, July 13, 2007

Hi! This is Tempered Mental.

In a nation that's for years filled with bands that lean towards experimental rock, it is not a surprise to find myself lacking in interest when it comes to being convinced to listen to local indie bands. An e-mail from a local music insider did not budge me a single bit I thought I'd give the idea 'Malaysian indie music' a go since I haven't been dwelling on it for the past few years.

A few track samples were sent to NTSOCIALISM to digest and review. The band in account, Tempered Mental, is a Malaysian band that shows genuine promise; filled to the brim with raw, quaint and profound songwriting (which so often reminds me of the progressive rock scene in the early '90s) and tight-knit showmanship from instrumentalists Jimmy, Melina and Jack. In an obvious attempt to branch out and improve from how they started on their previous EP (which is a good thing), their debut album was produced by the trio themselves with rock music maestro Greg Henderson, who has previously worked with other Malaysian rock acts like Seven Collar T-Shirt and Popshuvit.

After years of touring around South East Asia, their rock solid reputation as one of Malaysia's best musical exports have come into fruition. The long-awaited debut album, 'The View From Here', dubbed as a true gem and a worthy representative of the nation's alternative rock movement, was released on the 4th of July 2007. At first listen, one notices the melodic reference and nods to former greats The Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden. Melina, being a graduate from the International College of Music, writes in such a way that deters the band from being rated as 'second rate poseurs' or 'rock wannabes' in her own distinct style.

To kickstart one's experience with the band, tracks like 'Recall', 'Nothingness' and 'Open' give new listeners a chance to grasp how much potential this band obviously has. There's limitless potential for the band to release something grand in the near future. Tempered Mental is a work in progress and by that I mean they've got the freshest take on the local music scene at the moment.

Tracklisting for 'The View From Here' is as follows. Click on the available links to download the particular track in full length.

01. Space
02. Design (first single)
03. Recall
04. Cold
05. Open
06. Undone
07. Simple
08. Nothingness
09. Superstar
10. Cross

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