Temples produce pure psych-pop masterpiece in the form of ‘Volcano’

This psychedelic 4 piece from Kettering know how to create beautiful, eccentric, unique and exquisite psychedelic rock/pop beats. Its a thing that we saw them do superbly on their supersonic debut album ‘Sun Structures’, an album filled with that classic 60’s psych sound that we all love and know. After the band channelled the roots of The Beatles and The Byrds, they are back and this time they have progressed even further.

Temples really hit the ground running with opening track ‘Certainty’. Its badass and ultimately superb. The upbeat, and full of energy track sees the band seemingly steering slightly away from those 60’s psych sounds, and bringing in a more modern psych sound, reminiscent of bands such as Tame Impala, who seem to have played a large influence on the sound of this record, a sound that they really pull off well.

‘All Join In’ begins as if Temples are about to drop a dirty trance track from the 90’s, however it flourishes into a spacey and dreamy psychedelic pop anthem with hefty drum beats and swelling guitars. ‘(I want To Be Your) Mirror’ is utterly flawless. Its a jubilant resurgence of psychedelic sound. Lead vocalist James Bashaw dances his way through some expertly crafted lyrics, and his vocals sound impeccable on this track. (not that they aren’t on any other tracks). The opening flute, mixing into the background with the vocals is a match made in heaven. Its superbly crafted and mixed to perfection. This track is most defiantly one of the best tracks I have heard this year.

The next song represents all that is classic psychedelia. ‘Oh The Saviour’ is epic and enjoyable. The synth riff will be embedded in you mind for days to come, and the tiny elements to each song, like on 2:25, when we hear a sweet and classic sounding guitar riff played to perfection. This track could easily be ripped from the 60’s and 70’s. Its a huge throwback, just like the second to last tune on the record. ”Roman God-Like Man” could easily be a Beatles b-side. The imagined voice of John Lennon can be faintly heard in Bashaws vocals and the guitars appear to be some of the strongest moments on the album. Its chilling in a way, yet Temples show a buzz and have taken the opportunity to sound like a pure 60’s triumph.

The opening synth of ‘Born Into The Sunset’ creates a stunning contrast of sounds. The opening synths contrasting with the electric guitars, drums and bass in this track sound extraordinary. The fluttering utterences of hymn like groans looping through the bands first record can faintly be heard in this track. Theres links to the old, but Temples have jumped to the new.

‘How Would You Like To Go’ is synth heavy, and elements of Tame Impala seep right the way through this track. The hefty synth and bass collide in epic style making for a beautiful and enchanting psych ballad. The next track, ‘Open air’ is a fun, upbeat ballad which is distinctively a stand out track on the record. Its a perfect blend of psychedelic rock and pop music. The fun and bouncy synths that lurk in and out of the song, alongside the steady and ever present bass guitar are both prominent, making this one of the funnest tracks on the album, and one that I’m sure will be a joy to watch live.

‘In My Pocket’ delivers more of that typical 60’s psych sound. The song channels the sounds of The Beatles and The Byrds distinctively, with Temples adding dashes of their psych prowess into the concoction of beautiful psychedelic beats. ‘Celebration’ is an arm swayer for sure. Its chaotic synth breakdown in the last half of the track is a highlight for me. The song suddenly transfers from a smooth and catchy pop song and suddenly breaks down into a psychedelic storm of synth and rock.

‘Mystery Of Pop’ is another track that sends flashbacks to The Beatles. Its a lively track, which is synth heavy. The call and response vocals and that 80’s styled synth which lurk through the chorus walk hand in hand throughout this track. The final track, ‘Strange Or Be Forgotten’ is groovy and the psych beats match with the sublime guitar playing and elegent, almost Kevin Parker-esque vocals which make this one the most brilliantly crafted songs by the band to date.

The much more modern psych sound produced on this album is exceptional. Its a psych-pop masterpiece! Temples have delivered again. They have taken everything in their stride, and the psychedelic rock aspects from their debut appear to still be apparent, however the mixture of a more poppy sound, makes ‘Volcano’ one of the best albums of the year so far.

Temples are heading out on tour this spring! get your tickets here. You don’t want to miss out.

(Featured image courtesy of Heavenly Recordings)

Words by Piran Aston

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