Temples
Volcano


3.0
good

Review

by Mythodea USER (16 Reviews)
April 20th, 2017 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like a dream with sweet aftertaste: trippy, mellow but already half forgotten

To me, Temples is that one artist I have chosen to follow, representative of the new wave of retro-rock and neopsychedelia. I have to admit that these genres are uncharted waters to me and probably wouldn't bother with Temples as well, had it not been for their live performance as a support act for Muse, in 2016. The Greek sun in July can be less merciful than a king killing his children to secure his position on the throne. The atmosphere is dry and suffocating, especially when there are thousands of people packed together. So, while the audience was waiting for the water pumps to spray them - a minimum act to avoid people fainting - Temples got onstage and started playing. I was dizzy, thirsty and the heat made the whole experience transcendental. Listening to A Question isn't Answered under these circumstances would bind me with Temples so I had to check them out after the event.

Their debut album, Sun Structures, managed to keep my attention in an ambient environment, with all the magic of a live performance vanished. It was great to see a band mimicking so well the first steps of rock music while still having a distinctive sound. It was only natural I would be interested to see what their sophomore album would offer. The single, Certainty, which is also the opener, had that soaring rhythm and catchiness I wanted, so my expectations were high.

Volcano is less aggressive than its predecessor. The band opted for a mellower sound and the synthesizer is the dominant instrument, with all songs bathed in the surreal, shiny, glittery light of it. Most distinctive harmonies and phrases are played by the synth and sometimes that works really well, such as on songs like Born into the Sunset and Mystery of Pop, while on others it seems like the guitar would have been a much better decision. The vocals are nicely distorted and high pitched, creating a dream like scenery of carefree floating.
There are moments that sound like The Beatles would, if they were still around. Oh The Saviour and In My Pocket are great examples of that. Their common characteristic is the soft, weightless guitar intro, which evolves into an electronic trippy serenade.

The ''black sheep'' of Volcano is undeniably How Would You Like to Go?. While it the same approach for soundscaping, the tone is undeniably darker and more ominous, like the fever dream of a hippy. The tempo slows down, the drumming is even more hidden in the background and the several sound effects create an eerie picture of a conversation with a cryptic prophet. It's a clear high light and I do hope it gains the recognition it deserves.

Having said all that, the force that restrains the album is the predictability and repetition. Without a doubt it is a great album for summer nights in bars with neon signs, a road trip along the coastline and I bet there will be many potheads releasing some steam to this album, sitting on couches dressed in psychedelic clothing, while Led Zeppelin posters hang on the walls. But that can't hide the unmemorable personality of Volcano. It requires many listens to grasp the songs and even then, it is a puzzle to understand why a song unfolds the way it does: constantly progressing but without getting anywhere.

Volcano is not a mediocre album, but it could very easily be one. There are certain merits and each fan or listener will find something to go back to, but other than that, the album hasn't much to offer. Temples are young and with talent and have already released two albums and four EPs, their hard work is not put into question. But, they have to try harder if they want to break the barriers of modern music reality and actually leave a footprint similar to that of the heroes they so obviously adore.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Azertherion
April 20th 2017


444 Comments


Excellent review my dear.

The band always seemed quite average to me, poppy 60s psychedelic rock revival a la Tame Impala. Nothing exciting enough to wake up at night.

I'll listen to this one, just to see if they changed (ahahah) since their debut.

Digging: Four Tet - Pause

Mythodea
April 20th 2017


4153 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thank you for your kind comment and for that ''dear'', that put a smile on my face, for some reason.



Poppy psychedelic rock revival ain't bad per se, Temples could be up to sth.

Dewinged
April 20th 2017


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You finally did it Myth! Great review man, have a psyche pos.



Totally agree with you. As much as I loved Sun Structures I don't really get this one.

Digging: Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Mythodea
April 21st 2017


4153 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yes, I finally did it. Had to finish some other chores so I could sit my ass down and write this.

Dewinged
April 21st 2017


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know the feeling dude, no pressure.



It's been quite some time since my last review too.

IfYouRun
April 21st 2017


309 Comments


This band is from my hometown, and whilst I want to get properly into them, I just haven't been able to.

JWT155
April 21st 2017


13568 Comments


One of the coolest album covers I've seen this year.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2017


19218 Comments


I really want this to be good

Azertherion
April 21st 2017


444 Comments


I don't expect anything, I may be surprised, who knows.

Antonius
May 6th 2017


359 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Nice review Mytho, have my pos 'cos I was at the concert you are mentioning. Irrelevant fact but who cares haha

Antonius
May 6th 2017


359 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I loved Sun Structures so much, so when I saw this release I was really excited. However, my excitement became in equal terms an anger. I didn't like the switch in approach and found some songs too trippy and too poppy

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2017


26735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I prefer this to Sun Structures.

Antonius
May 7th 2017


359 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

noooooooo

Dewinged
May 15th 2017


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Listening to this makes me realize how much I miss Sun Structures.

Dewinged
May 15th 2017


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dammit the closer (Strange or Be Forgotten) really reminds me of Kasabian's Days Are Forgotten.

Antonius
May 15th 2017


359 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

what a great album Sun Structures was



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