Sun Structures

Written by: BV on 13/02/2014 16:37:47

Anyone who has been scoping out the blooming UK psych scene as of late has probably stumbled upon the seemingly rising stars of Temples. By earning Noel Gallagher’s stamp of approval the hype around them soared to, in terms of the psych genre, quite high levels. Here, with their debut album titled “Sun Structures”, the band borrows heavily from psych of days long past such as The Beatles, The Byrds and Strawberry Alarm Clock. However, the influence from contemporary artists shines equally bright as bits and pieces from Tame Impala, The Black Angels and even Elephant Stone can be traced through their musical excursions.

“Shelter Song” opens the album in a near homage-like fashion, tipping its hat towards the chiming 12-strings of The Byrds whilst borrowing heavily from Revolver-era The Beatles in terms of songwriting, vocals and production. It is no devoid of originality per se, but the focus does seem to be resting heavily on delivering a dose of authenticity rather than producing a work of pure, unadulterated latter-day psych as they themselves could, perhaps, envision it. With the title track, Temples seem to venture into a latter-day psych-drone fueled by a quirky guitar riff reminiscent of many contemporary acts – with The Black Angels standing out the most. The vocal melody and the general production, including the lush, reverberating sounds, hints in the direction of Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker – embedding the notion in my head that a collaboration between the two parties could indeed be quite magnificent.

As “Move With The Season” timidly approaches there is a certain air of underwhelming present. However, as the track unfolds it ends up portraying one of Temples’ most interesting moments throughout the album. As the somewhat low-key drone lingers on and the quietly uttered vocals rear their head through the lush, uniquely vast-sounding soundscape Temples’ border on the lines of outstanding originality in a realm dominated by paying homage to the latter-day greats. The track might not seem extraordinary, however, after quite a few listens it does stand out as an extraordinary, even bold-sounding track in comparison to the rest of “Sun Structures” with its strangely upbeat dynamics, whilst the mood of the song lingers towards the darker, somewhat more melancholic.

But is “Sun Structures” nothing more than an exercise in paying tribute to a genre which seems to have hit an equal rejuvenation point – rivaling that of the heritage-rock movement? Well, yes and no. For starters, I can conclude that the album is far from an ’original sounding masterpiece’. I also have a hard time agreeing with a lot of the hype going on around this band in a general sense, seeing as there are so many contemporary artists with whom they share not only inspirations, but also songwriting ‘technique’, if you will.

However, I do recognize the fact that, as far as authenticity goes, Temples do seem to master their influences, effectively grasping the greatest bits from each one and melding them together into a modern-sounding neo-psych album. Were they to actually find out what they want to sound like and then couple it with their influences, we could very well be witnessing the birth of a neo-psych great. Until then I can only applaud them for their authentic reimagining of latter-day greats, and remark that they do possess the nerve – now they just need to find their very own, unique sound to go with it.


Download: Sun Structures, A Question Isn’t Answered, Move With The Season
For the fans of: Tame Impala, The Beatles, The Black Angels, Elephant Stone
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.02.2014
Heavenly Recordings

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