Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, September 26th, 2023  



Fat Possum

Mar 22, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The difference a couple of years can make. Sun Structures, the 2014 debut album by the English band Temples, often took its cues from ‘60s psychedelic rock while at times brushing shoulders stylistically with contemporaries like The Last Shadow Puppets. Their latest, Volcano, practically sheds the skin of their earlier approach, with the band leaning on their melodic strengths to emerge with a largely new identity that also seems a surprisingly natural fit.

The self-produced (as was their last album) Volcano regularly places keyboards at the fore, with a sound that is often pop-accessible while not necessarily geared toward the pop charts. The opener, “Certainty,” blows open the front door with a big drum sound, a buzzy bass line, and a synth riff that swirls like a freed kite. “Mystery of Pop” plays like a beautifully sculpted electronic pop confection; its sweet, tightly-wound, three-plus minutes seem to end too soon.

At times there are echoes of other keyboard-driven bands such as Grandaddy, although that’s purely in terms of instrumentation. There appears to have been a previously untapped vein of epic pop, explored here on songs like “Celebration,” which looks toward a song like Bastille’s “Pompeii” but on strictly Temples terms.

As “Born Into the Sunset” bursts with a broad vista of electronic glow and sunny guitar, James Bagshaw’s falsetto leads the band into one of the album’s tracks that nods toward their psychedelic sensibilities while fully embracing their pop impulses. Led by acoustic guitar, “In My Pocket” is trippy pop, while “How Would You Like to Go?” further suggests that they’re not quite done with exploring the head space a bit. Awash in synth waves and wooshes that are alternately bright and eerie, it’s a low-tempo sleepwalk with lyrics that sound like dream narration. (www.templestheband.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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