thu 30/03/2017

CD: Temples - Volcano | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Temples - Volcano

CD: Temples - Volcano

Brit-psych sensations second album is defined by a lack of substance

Instead of taking Temples further out than debut album ‘Sun Structures’, ‘Volcano’ is a consolidation
Temples’s ‘Volcano’: where gesture wins out over impact, subtlety and texture

Temples’ debut album, 2014’s Sun Structures, was an instant and surprise success. Within weeks of its release, the Brit-psych outfit were headlining major venues for the first time. Sun Structures went UK Top 10. Tame Impala had opened the door and Temples stepped through. As if to stress this, Volcano’s fourth track, “Oh the Saviour”, rhymes “lava” with “impala” and, three tracks on, “Open Air” could pass for a Tame Impala stomp-along.

Instead of taking Temples further out, their second album Volcano is a consolidation which drops the overt nods to Oasis and supplements the edgy 1966-Beatles via Dungen textures with too-dominant keyboard lines while diving into beats as a rhythmic underpinning (this echoing Tame Impala’s progression). Take “Born Into the Sunset”, the album’s fifth track, on which a busy programmed pulse sits alongside traditional drums. Both lay the table for a song driven by an intermittent anthemic synth refrain. It’s hard to escape the impression Temples are aiming at getting audiences' arms aloft in stadia – which album closer “Strange or be Forgotten” will not fail to do.

The shift in focus towards gesture over impact, subtlety and texture is a pity because at its core the self-produced Volcano is a fine collection of 12 fragmented, modern psychedelic songs which, if a harder edge had been adopted and singer James Bagshaw’s vocals foregrounded rather than buried, would have instantly hit home. Instead, Volcano is an uncomfortable halfway house between idiosyncrasy and the insubstantial.

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters