Temples
Sun Structures


3.0
good

Review

by JamieTwort CONTRIBUTOR (27 Reviews)
February 17th, 2014 | 36 replies | 3,782 views


Release Date: 02/10/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A decent if somewhat flawed psychedelic pop album that shows promise for the band’s future.

It seems that recently there has been a never ending stream of 60s-influenced, yet contemporary, psychedelic pop bands emerging from all areas of the globe. Many of these acts were undoubtedly inspired by the recent surge in popularity towards bands such as Tame Impala and Pond, who have been at the forefront of the current psychedelic scene in Australia for a good five years now. On the other side of the Pacific, last year saw breakthrough releases from a number of relative new comers from the US such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who received a fair amount of success with the release of their second album, ‘II’. So where does that leave British new comers, Temples? Well, much like many of their contemporaries, Temples are a band very much in need of an identity of their own. Having released their debut EP in 2012 and another EP in 2013, Temples have been slowly building up to their first full length, this year’s Sun Structures, an album that ultimately lacks any distinctive character but one that does show plenty of promise.

Temples’ debut album is a collection of mostly well-crafted psych-pop songs that takes influence from the likes of The Beatles, Spirit and of course modern bands such as Tame Impala. The best representation of Temples’ strengths comes in the form of the album’s title track, a five minute piece that typifies the band’s ability to combine catchy, melodic hooks with trippy, psychedelic musicianship. The song closes with a two minute instrumental section very much dominated by frontman, James Bagshaw’s fuzzy, distorted guitar playing, providing one of the album’s more psychedelic moments. At the other end of the spectrum, The Golden Throne relies more on its infectious chorus than it does on the band’s psych influences, whilst still possessing various psychedelic subtleties that run through much of the album.

Sadly the band is unable to maintain the energy levels and quality of song writing heard in the album’s first three songs, with many of the album’s remaining tracks failing to live up to the heights of the infectious groove of album opener, Shelter Song, or the psychedelic qualities of the aforementioned title track. That’s not to say that the rest of the album is without highlights, Colours To Life is a gloriously transcendent track which is as trippy as its title would suggest, while Sand Dance hints at a level of creativity that could have greatly benefited many of the album’s other tracks. On the other hand, A Question Isn’t Answered plods along monotonously and doesn’t really go anywhere, while Test of Time is a prime example of the band’s need for identity, possessing nothing even remotely memorable or different.

Flaws aside, Sun Structures sees Temples deliver a solid dose of psychedelic pop that, despite leaning heavily on the band’s influences, both old and new, has a certain charm to it that is hard to resist. One thing that stands out about Sun Structures is the production, which has a depth to it that highlights the band’s clever layering of instrumentation as well as their effective use of double tracked vocals. Also impressive is the way in which the band have incorporated Adam Smith’s keyboard playing into the mix, adding extra depth to the music and contributing to the psychedelic backdrop that underpins much of the album’s sound.

Overall Sun Structures shows moments of real promise that suggest that if the band were to adopt a more adventurous and creative approach they may be able to elevate themselves to greater heights and perhaps carve out an identity of their own. Whether or not they will remains to be seen.

3.2/5



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user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Psychedelic?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just got pipped to the post by Major Tom's review but already had this written up so here's another review for it.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014



2670 Comments


I'll rotate the two of yours this week so that you can have an equal chance at featured exposure.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool, thanks Jom.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



15907 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"psych-pop songs that takes influence from the likes of The Beatles, Spirit"

Exactly what I'm thinking halfway in.
If one of these albums came along where they broke up the poppy stuff with some extended jams I might really like it.

Digging: Nemrud - Journey of the Shaman

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If one of these albums came along where they broke up the poppy stuff with some extended jams I might really like it.


Yeah, in a way that's partly what I'm getting at when I say "if the band were to adopt a more adventurous and creative approach they may be able to elevate themselves to greater heights".

Have you heard Pond - Hobo Rocket? I think that album might be exactly the sort of thing you're looking for.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



15907 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

no i havent ill try it

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



15907 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh yes this pond stuff is much more my thing nice rec

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That was one of my favourite albums of last year. I love their previous album Beard, Wives, Denim too but that one is more like this album's style, except considerably better.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review,

also Cool, thanks Jom [2]

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014



10070 Comments


I demand a contributor sparring match for the feature! Ready them boxing gloves, gentlemen

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Jom
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014



2670 Comments


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Sputender!

Fighting out of the red corner, wearing blue and white trunks, the Reviewer from Del Fuego... uhh... United Kingdom... Tom Ninety-thrrrrrrrrrrrrrrree M.

And fighting out of the blue corner, wearing a gorgeous floral-pattern silk dress, JamieTwort!

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahaha

I think you'll find it's Tom wearing the floral dress.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014



2670 Comments


He's the only one with geography information listed, so he got that part by default.

On the other hand, at least you get to sing at Sly Stone's kid's wedding!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014



7364 Comments


* the 1960s influenced

Other than that, cool review. I didn't like this LP very much.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Greg.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not sure about adding the word 'the' though, it doesn't read right like that.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2014



7364 Comments


Yeah. You can leave it like that. 'The 1960s' is grammatically correct, though.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2014



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love the title track on here.

zakalwe
February 18th 2014



7567 Comments


Nice JT.
The psychedelic pop new wave is doing me head in.
Aliens - Luna or their debut Astronomy for Dogs is highly recommended for a starting point into how it's done properly.

Digging: J Mascis - Tied to a Star



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