Here's a new one from curly mopped psych pop fans Temples. Their previous record 'Sun Structures' was the type of psych record you could take home to meet your mum so we are expecting more radio-friendly vaguely '60s tunes to hum when you put the bins out of a night. Lead track 'Certainty' sounds like MGMT gone sensible so this could be a winner.
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Modern rock band career trajectory....
- First album: Promising. Lots of sounds that appeal and actual good songs.
- Second album: Added synths. Bigger production. Fewer good songs. More hype.
- From then on in: Trying to find again what was so good about that first album.
From the sounds of this their second album Temples are executing the plan perfectly. Where 'Sun Temples' was an immediate breath of fresh air taking all the best bits of the psych pop past and giving them a collective kick up the arse, 'Volcano' spends most of it's time being as loud as possible presumably to mask the lack of actual songs. It's slathered in enough shiny synth hooks to kill a horse as if their contract stipulated enough synth interruptions to rival the last Tame Impala record.
It's a shame because there is still something here. When they concentrate on playing Blur-ish indie as on 'Oh the Saviour' it sounds more like the Temples we knew and quite liked. Even there though the twisty Syd Barrett - ish chord changes come complete with a synth dominated chorus which like many here are surely aimed purely at live performance. Opener 'Certainty' and 'Born to the Sunset' have MGMT like synth earworms that are crowd friendly hooks in the making. Simple ringtones that ensure that the fact that the remainder of the track twists around aimlessly is forgotten.
As I delve further and further into the album my ears begin to scream at me with every additional compressed drum sound and hi-end bank of keyboards yet within these songs somewhere is lurking a good psych pop band trying to be heard. Hints of the cool 60's ish melodies of yore are still there but this is no longer the work of a guitar based band referencing Love, Bowie and Teardrop Explodes and as a result much is lost. A shame because in 2017 we could really do with a great take-home psych pop album like 'Sun Structures' to try to make things fun again... if just for a bit.
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