Back in 1993, while working for my college radio station, I received a promotional disc from Warner Brothers entitled Black Light Special subtitled a “developing artist sampler.” The disc contained rare cuts by the Goo Goo Dolls, Belly, Dinosaur Jr., Pure, Bash & Pop, Saint Etienne, Mudhoney and The Judybats; more than half of which went on to critical acclaim and great success. Popping Junk Male’s Temp into the CD player I had much the same reaction as I had when I first heard Black Light Special. I liked it. I liked it a lot.
A self-released, full length album by a band that’s been playing for less than a year, Temp showcases songs written by band leader Larry May. Led by May (vocals/guitar), this New York City quartet kicks out power pop with promise. Almost every track on the album has Top 40 Pop Charts written all over it. While “Bugs” may attract Warner Brothers’ attention, their friendly, wise-cracking bunny isn’t what Mays had on his mind at the time the song was written.
Perhaps my only real complaint about Temp is the last track on the disc, “Flown Away.” Compared to the rest of the album, “Flown Away” is entirely too lethargic with only May’s melodic voice and acoustic guitar.
Black Light Special mysteriously disappeared from the studios of my college radio station and just as mysteriously reappeared in my own personal collection. I’d expect the same to happen with Temp, except I don’t anticipate it disappearing again every time my old college buddies drop in for a visit.
// Notes from the Road
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