Psychedelic quartet Temples made a splash in 2014 with their successful debut Sun Structures and this month sees them deliver their highly anticipated follow-up Volcano.
From the off, Temples are attempting to push their sonic landscape with the synth heavy opener Certainty and the trippy swirls of All Join In. It becomes clear that many of the songs have substituted guitars for keyboards, but there are exceptions. Open Air is full of neat melodies over a fuzzy guitar line, while highlight (I Want To Be Your) Mirror includes folk-tinged fingerpicking and In My Pocket contains crystal clear acoustic guitars that mimic early Beatles sounds. The band also include heavily compressed drums throughout to keep the album grounded in 60’s and 70’s psychedelia.
Oh The Saviour contains one of the most emphatic choruses, but struggles to break away from the inevitable MGMT comparison, as does the organ-led How Would You Like To Go? Elsewhere, Born Into The Sunset and album closer Strange Or Be Forgotten are packed with great melodies and dynamic shifts, but the vocal delivery pigeonholes them as Tame Impala impersonators, while Roman God-Like Man lacks structure, mostly revolving around two chords. More interestingly though, the tribal Celebration and slightly gothic Mystery Of Pop could easily soundtrack Stanley Cubrick’s dystopian thriller A Clockwork Orange.
While Volcano displays a band branching out with new sounds and becoming more consistent songwriters, Temples seem set on following the paths set by their contemporaries, rather than trying to break away from them.