Combining a classic singer-songwriter, poet vagabond
rhetoric with a minimal acoustic-punk aesthetic, Darren
Deicide delivers an interesting album of hits and missed
opportunities. Sporting a slightly confused abstinence
from overdubbing, Temptation and the Taboo Part
1, limits itself with songs never fully realized.
Acoustic, neo-goth instrumental opener, “Now is the Winter of Our Discontent” is
an early high point: sweeping, perfectly paced guitar cascades bounce outward
against canned orchestration. An emotive opening that unfortunately sets the
bar too high.
“Little Ol’ Snake” is a thin joke drawn out too long for its
corny shakers and pseudo-folk yearning. “Block Rock Boogie” manages
impersonate blues in a painful white-boy way, mimicking the 12-bar blues slaughter
of the first rock bands that ripped off black culture in the fifties.
“A Night in Journal Square” is a juvenile effort at socio-political
spoken word that is as unlistenable as it is pointless in its moralistic confusion.
Deicide loses himself completely in a high school poetry-style dialogue, stopping
his album dead in its tracks with meaningless lines like, “That fifty cents
won’t buy keys for those in bondage/ That fifty cents won’t lower
the emperor’s drawbridge.”
But where Deicide simplifies his approach, focusing solely on his Ben Weasel-style
vocal delivery, semi-sweet cornball narratives and jittery solo electric powerchord
chunks, he manages to convey himself successfully on artistic terms. Letting
the imperfections of his voice stand center stage on “Dreaming to Live” is
a brave choice and makes for on of the most endearing cuts on Temptation. “”Loneliness
and Fear” is an emo-boy shedding his insecurities at some shadowed and
lonely open mic night. You can’t help but root for him. “Nothing’s
Gonna Stop Me” is a raunchy blast of testosterone rock and “Winter
Blues” drops some truly fragile uber-reverbed acoustic confessionals. From
here, Deicide only needs to hone his songwriting with a little more focus and
flesh out his compositions with full-band arrangements and he could deliver a
decent dose of man-alone angst.
Favorite Track: Track 8, "Winter Blues ”