Music Review: Temper by Great Bitter Lake

Temper is the latest release from the Californian band Great Bitter Lake (formerly Forrest). Made up of Hailie Hay on vocals, Michael Kirk on guitar and Levi Matthews on drums the trio formed back in 2019 and have released two singles and an EP since. 

Since its release the EP has received a mountain of praise online, this ranging from radio play to fans loving it so much they share it on their own social media platforms. 

Ghost Like You opens the EP with bright and spritely guitars. Showcasing great layering and finesse for building atmosphere the track instantly builds intrigue from its listener. 

Before long Hailie’s voice glides in and I am completely taken with the slight twang that her voice carries. This is entirely charming and I cannot wait to hear more. 

In the second part of the track the pace kicks up and the spritely guitars are taken over by a fuzzy bass. This … around and completely surrounds your senses. The bass which was pretty much non-existent before this point has become the focal point of the track. Although I do like the slightly heavier sound it has taken away slightly from Hailie’s lovely vocals. 

Next up is a more country-infused track by the name of Colorado. Compared to the opening track the drums are more prevalent and punchy. The sharp snare really punctuates and compliments the vocal line making certain words and phrases more standout. 

Again in the second part of the track the vibe skyrockets. The emotion in Hailie’s vocals has become much more distinguishable. 

An exciting guitar solo from Michael amps up the mood of the track and brings in more of those great layers that were heard in the first track. 

Taking a slight dip in energy Drew Snow shows the softer side of Great Bitter Lake. with softer instrumentation, you can really focus on the more intricate details of the track. 

Harmonised backing vocals from Michael add extra depth to the track and makes the vocal line a hair raising experience. Both voices blend beautifully together and I cannot get enough of their sound. 

In what I am noticing has become a pattern with this EP the bridge section hikes up the feeling. Electric guitars are introduced to the mix 

The EP’s closing track Mass Pike is the longest sitting at over five minutes long. Earlier in the EP, you got a glimpse at a slide guitar, in this track has become a statement element. 

This chorus is a showstopper. There’s so much feeling and emotion in the vocal performance and pairing this with the piercing instrumentation you’ve got a real great piece of music. 

Temper is a seriously impressive debut EP from Great Bitter Lake. The emotion, atmosphere and songwriting is completely on point. I am now greatly anticipating the band’s first release under their new name.

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