Temples - Sun Structures


[xrr rating=3.5/5]

There are elements of nostalgia when there’s talk of bands such as Temples; the recent resurrection of The Stone Roses currently has the indie/alternative world in a haze of 90s retro. Saying that, not all nostalgia is a scratched record per se, some of this can be turned upside down slightly and this is what the Kettering based Temples do. Hype is already growing steadily well for the guys and with Madchester greats Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher praising them for their efforts; it’s an exciting beginning.

Let’s pretend Kula Shaker never happened, I’m sure most of us are able to do so. The celebratory vigour of Temples’ ceremonial influenced psychedelic disco is addictive and a rewarding listen. Imagine The Wicker Man without the human sacrifice – now imagine it to be an animation with bursts of bright lights and LSD ridden dance antics…now you’re quite close to the tone and feel of Temples debut album, Sun Structures. Of course, psychedelic rock is no new addition to the musical library; it’s the energy in Temples’ sound that makes it palatable and to some extent, refreshing.

What’s striking about the sound of Temples is the rawness like the aesthetic of an old mix-tape found in a dust covered one-deck stereo. James Bagshaw carries off the chilled vocals well, it’s almost hypnotic and yes, he sounds lightly intoxicated by the very vibes that they’re creating and we too, as listeners, fall under the spiralling spell. A guitar strums reminiscent of The Beatles, an evocative groove succumbs; it’s dream-like and surreal, their single, ‘Shelter Song’ opens the album.

Tracks such as ‘Mesmerise’ will grasp you with its vivacity and its gleeful reminiscence of a Monkees song. ‘Colours to Life’ has a Suede-like electro hook whereas tracks like ‘The Guesser’ and ‘Sand Dance’ will undoubtedly entrance you. The slices of organ solos and thematic waves of sound all add to the portrait of this homage to a generation that’s never been lost in our hearts of music.

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The production here is what makes Sun Structures a delightfully crisp pastiche of 60s influenced composites. Despite the aforementioned debate of nostalgia relating to the 90s, Temples are a fusion of the past and the present; you could perhaps, call them the neo-psych-indie group? In fact, the whole argument about whether they’re just a band reviving a retro hysteria is irrelevant. New? Old? Who cares if they do it so damn well? Post-modernism is over-rated anyway.

What’s made Thomas Warmsley and Bagshaw’s vision are the additional members of ex-Koolaid Electric Company drummer, Sam Toms and keyboardist Adam Smith. The band was assembled and guided by Heavenly Recordings founder, Jeff Barrett after hearing 4 tracks by the then duo (Warmsley and Bagshaw) in 2012. Since then, the band has been rocking the Kettering scene with a vibrant panache. The only danger of Temples’ existence is the potential hipster uprising although, in terms of silver linings, it’s good music, it’s nothing new but it’s good music and good music is what we need more of.

Craig Podmore