Dubbed Britain’s best new band by former Oasis’ member Noel Gallagher and set to perform at the Great American Music Hall on April 14th, Kettering-based Temples has us feeling nostalgic. Perhaps nostalgic is the wrong word, since not one of us here at The B-Side experienced first-hand the age of psychedelic rock that Temples’ newly released debut album, Sun Structures, seems to evoke. In fact, the same can be said for every member of the band.
The tone for this 12-track, hour-long album is set quickly by ’60s-sounding chromatic guitar riffs and heavy tambourine in “Shelter Song.” Singer and guitarist James Edward Bagshaw’s voice echoes over synthed-out ooh’s and aah’s: “take me in time / time to the music / take me away to the twilight zone.”
This psychedelic-rock tone is the orbital center of every track on the album. It is emulated in the sweeping vocals and other-worldly harp in “Keep in the Dark,” then the stripped-down, rhythm-heavy “Sand Dance,” a six-minute long penultimate track featuring three-and-a-half minutes of vocal-less, Arabian-groove/ethereal rock instrumentals.
To the band’s credit, however, they do manage to weave in their own sound between the The Byrds and Marc Bolan. “A Question Isn’t Answered” introduces a more contemporary sound that seems to be of Temples’ own design. The track begins with a heady combination of an earthy sounding clap-rhythm and distant vocals. From there, synth effects turn into a bluesy, super raw guitar riff that is more Dan Auerbach and less The Nazz. With this track and others, Temples adds a darkness to the otherwise sun-drenched sound of the album.
Sun Structures is easy to listen to and especially impressive for a first effort from a brand new band. The near-perfect replication of ’60s groove-rock is not a lack of originality; rather, it is impressive because of its meticulous and gritty similarity to the real thing. We depart from that retro psych-rock theme wanting more, curious to see how Temples’ own sound develops with time.
Temples will be headlining tonight, supported by Drowners and DJ Omar Perez. Tickets here.