Psychedelica has been transported to 2014 thanks to Temples. A rare sound has been achieved that captures the ambience of 1960’s psychedelic records. A sound that takes a considered approach and understanding of the elements required to authentically recreate the sixties atmosphere. Think Jefferson Airplane, Cream and the Beatles and you have Temples.
[pullquote]“ Temples are one of the hottest new bands around at the minute. Endorsed by the likes of Brett Anderson who recently invited them on tour with Suede and cited by both Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher as the best new band in Britain, it’s been a memorable twelve months for a band that barely existed this time last year.” -drownedinsound.com[/pullquote] The album opens with ‘Shelter Song’. The auditory sensory input transports me straight to the Beatles. The guitars, rhythm section and vocal harmonies are reminiscent of how the Beatles approached song writing. This track sets you up for what is to come. ‘Sun Structures’ enters with a hint of urgency. This track has an agenda. Superbly written, it changes frequently to keep you engaged. The sixties are brought to life in the production. There is a great moment around 2:28 that leads into what could be considered the bridge of this song. It may seem to drag on a little past 4:00, however, when you are in a groove like this, from the perspective of a band member it can be difficult to let go. ‘The Golden Throne’ is up next. A Middle Eastern scale greets the opening sequence of this song. The vocal melody is in keeping with the eastern intervals, and as is customary with Temples, it presents a rich and varied soundscape of sixties inspired production.
‘Keep in the Dark’ starts with what could be considered a standard issue for any pop album from the sixties. Well, this is the Temples, and it’s the year 2014 and they have a lot more to offer than the same riff being repeated over and over. At 2:20 there is a welcome inclusion of a tenor/baritone saxophone. They give you taste of this sax, only taste, and you are left wanting more. ‘Mesmerise’ keeps the consistency of this album afloat. The vocal harmonies are ever present and continue to appeal. The production on the guitar is excellent and there is a good balance between quiet moments and the full sonic force of Temples. At 2:15 you are temporarily introduced to a half time feel before returning the main sequence of this song.
‘Move With The Season’ has a vocal melody that will grab your auditory cortex, add the melodic guitar and like a barbiturate you are hooked. The atmosphere this song creates cannot be understated. Check the effects on the guitar at 2:20 when there is a short improvisation. This is a fine piece of recorded history for Temples.
‘Colours to Life’ is consistent, but maybe a filler. ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’ starts with formidable vocal harmonies that form the foundation for the melody of this track. The ‘fog horn’ sound, (maybe a French horn) around 2:25 introduces a bass solo with an integrity matched by the passing riff that brings the solo to a close. The lyrics are repetitive, infectious and work well. ‘The Guesser’ has an innocence about the song that one might expect from a newly formed band looking to introduce themselves to the market. The previous sentence is designed to be a compliment not a criticism. Track ten ‘Test of Time’ feels a bit like a ‘filler’, they are ‘going through the motions’ when compared to some of the other tracks.
Sand Dance welcomes back the eastern influence in the melody. The ‘flanger’ is well utilised in parts and the bass sound is wide. They continue to add short phrases like the organ at 1:53 or the half time feel at 2:03. ‘Fragment’s Light’ takes the album out a short almost 2:00 piece inspired by the likes of ‘the Incredible String Band’
This album should inspire younger listeners to go back and explore what music had to offer in the sixities. For those who have been inspired and spent time listening to music from the past you may find yourself going back and revisiting your favourite albums.
Band Website: http://templestheband.com/