Temple Scene

A Good Day To Disappear

Written by: TL on 12/08/2009 14:48:55

Okay everybody, calm down and keep your pants on, I KNOW I've been gone for a while (haven't posted anything for a whole week, oh. my. God!), but while life continues to try and run me over, I'm still going to try to post you a handful of reviews over the next two days. First on the menu is Temple Scene, a duo consisting of two guys, Philippe Rose and Ric Levy, who take pride in having worked on recordings for bands like U2, The Verve and Basement Jaxx, and who are now ready with their first LP called "A Good Day To Disappear".

About their own music, Temple Scene write that their "atmospheric pop deftly mixes infectious melodies with swirling layers of electronica and guitars.". The key word there is probably atmospheric, and along with it, I'd probably mention ones like floaty, dreamy and chilled-out as descriptive of their style. Like they've confessed themselves, the melodies are mostly composed of mellow guitars and various keys and ambiances in subtle harmony. The rhythm section does what it must without drawing attention to itself and on top of everything, Philippe provides some soft and soaring vocal work not unlike that of Daniel Bellqvist (of Eskobar - you know, the Swedish guys who sang "Someone New" with Heather Nova).

Now the most impressive thing about this record is that the entire thing was recorded in Ric's bedroom home studio, and still it sounds like a 100.000 dollar corporate pop production. Clearly, having worked in studios for such big bands as those mentioned before have given Temple Scene some skill, and I think they prove beyond a doubt, that recording your stuff at home simply isn't an excuse for poor sound.

The whole thing drifts by very softly and very gently - perhaps even too much so, because as opposed to a big pop production, it doesn't claw at your attention with a constant urgency, rather it's the kind of thing you just leave on in the background while you let its soothing melodies tickle your ears for relaxing effect. It's both the strength and weakness of the record, because while it's very mature and credible of Temple Scene to do things that way, it does make for fewer memorable moments on the record. Of course there are exceptions, including "The Mountain" and "One Of These Days", and most notably "Helsinki" during the opening of which the record instantly feels like it comes to life after having been sleeping and dreaming for the five preceding songs.

So on the upside, this is very consistent and mature, and it makes for truly delightful listening while painting a landscape to your trip through your daily life. On the other hand, it is very soft and subtle, it doesn't leave you with a very strong impression of the band's identity and only on few occasions does it move from 'tickling' your senses, to truly exhilarating them. In layman's terms, it just doesn't rock, and that alone should be enough for most of our readers to pass it up. For those few who do occasionally enjoy a tranquil state of mind though, Temple Scene should be worth checking out.

Download: Helsinki, The Mountain, One Of These Days, U2
For The Fans Of: Eskobar, Keane, Dredg
Listen: myspace.com/templescene

Release Date 10.07.2009

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