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Temples
Sun Structures Ian Wade , February 10th, 2014 06:52

A first glance at Temples suggest that they are something that's hardly ground-breaking in the grand history of pop music. The quartet's look harks back to a time when you could spend limitless time on the dole smoking roll-ups and endless practising in a pub back room - one of the band may even have a vague interest in astrology. Meanwhile the singer has the air of someone who has been growing his hair against some form of establishment, while keeping an eye out for psychedelic blouses in British Heart Foundation shops. You actually get the feeling Temples just happened organically, an idea that will either repulse or enchant you in this modern era.

Sun Structures offers the listener to explore an everyday world of cosmic enhancement. 'Shelter Song' signposted the Kettering four-piece's scene when it was released late 2012, sounding not unlike something off Primal Scream's Sonic Flower Groove, albeit slightly doofed up to allow it access into the 21st century. The chiming intro was like something had beamed in from a quarter of a century ago, perhaps by The Byrds, itself a reminder of what had been explored significantly 20 years prior to that. However, they argue, psychedelia has always been about being a bit forward-thinking and ahead. Opening your mind to prove you've got one, or something. As a result, Sun Structures has a very modern sheen, despite most of it being recorded in James Bagshaw's spare room.

There's been a trolley dash around the right names and influences - JG Ballard (he's served well for Human League, The Normal and Blood Everywhere in the past), Aldous Huxley, Kenneth Anger, Timothy Leary etc. There's musical nods to Pink Floyd, Beatles, C-86, Moody Blues and West Coast psychedelia in general. There's also a pleasing nod to the recording techniques of Joe Meek, managing to make a wall of sound out of Northamptonshire, which one can only imagine being something of a task in itself.

But with elements of drone on the title track, and on the glam infusing and lifting likes of 'Keep In The Dark' and 'Mesmerise', what emerges most of all is a set of melody-laden songs that could withstand any kind of arrangement. In fact, at times you could pitch Temples as a UK Tame Impala on tunes such as 'A Question Isn't Answered' without having a sandwich thrown at you in disgust. Once you get beneath the sheen of effects that swamp the likes of The Guesser and the Eastern-tinged 'Sand Dance' and short closer 'Fragment's Light', the whole album sounds like an array of slightly wonderful and woozy daydreams that will embed themselves further in with each listen. Even now after playing it four times, it's become more like a new friend than an impenetrable ordeal of cosmic bollocks.

Temples then. A bit retro – check. Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr likes them – check. Singer has amazing hair – check. A debut album chock full of references to their sources, but elegantly reformed and futureproofed – check. It's where they choose to go next will be when the adventure really gets going.

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