Tempo No Tempo, Waking Heat

Kelsey Bryant

Tempo No Tempo, Waking Heat

If 90s post-punk spent a little
less time angry and a bit more time dancing, it would end up something like Tempo
No Tempo. With grating discordance and imperfectly perfect vocals similar to At
The Drive In or Cursive, Tempo No Tempo adds bass lines and polyrhythmic beats that
push this San Francisco trio into new musical territory.

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With its first full-length
album, Waking Heat, stocked full of
self-proclaimed “reggaeton disco dub punk” and with two critically acclaimed
EPs behind them, Tempo No Tempo is a band quickly winning a national audience. In the whimsically dark “The Rat (Part One)”, frontman Tyler
McCauley’s spirited vocals pair perfectly with driving percussion and tightly
wound guitar riffs. “Kilometer” showcases minimalized synthesizers with a world
beat and brief bouts of Fugazi-esque distortion. “Half Asleep” subtracts the
harsh grit in favor of surprisingly melodic vocals and harmonizing guitar,
lulling the album to a close.

Is it weird to feel nostalgic for the nineties? Either way,
Tempo No Tempo has revived a dying genre with innovation and a refreshingly
modern take.

 
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