Temples Trade in Their Guitars for Synthesizers
Written by Reid Smith on March 6, 2017
Photo courtesy of bandcamp.com
Record Label: Fat Possum Records
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017
With their sophomore album, Temples sends a message that they’re more than a 60’s nostalgia act.
Temples went from uploading songs on YouTube to playing Coachella and performing on The Tonight Show over the span of two years. With their second album, the neo-psychedelic group from Kettering, proves they deserve more than 15 minutes in the spotlight. Volcano is a solid follow up to 2014’s Sun Structures, with the band moving forward from their debut album… but not too far forward.
Volcano takes no time getting to the point with opening track “Certainty” unleashing a bright and bouncy synth hook over lead singer, James Bagshaw’s floating vocals. “Certainty” is one of the highlights of Volcano, if not the album’s best song.
The 60s aren’t completely over for Temples, with pop standards like “In My Pocket” and “Mystery of Pop” that wouldn’t seem out of place if they were found on the B side of some forgotten Turtles single.
While contemporaries in the “neo-psych” genre like Tame Impala focus their work on introspective lyrics about the inner-workings of the mind, Temples choose to hang their hat on the melodies they’re singing instead of the words they’re saying.
If there’s one thing in common with every song on Volcano, it’s that they’re all catchy as hell. Nothing on the album’s going to blow your mind or open your third eye, but in a genre that’s become oversaturated with cliche white boy wokeness and drug references, that’s not anything to be upset about.
The album loses some of its steam around the halfway mark, with throwaway tracks like “Open Air” and “How Would You Like to Go?” but regains its footing with the two tracks rounding out the album, “Roman Godlike Man” and “Strange or be Forgotten”.
Volcano isn’t something that’s going to blow up (get it?) the world. But it is strong evidence that a band can create something fresh and interesting without completely reinventing themselves. Temples are more than a 60s nostalgia act and they’re not going anywhere fast.