Greg: Without a doubt there are a lot of people about to exclaim “Psychedelic is back baby!” in some bad Austin Powers voice and then take to the streets to show their friend and parents this wonderful new album that will, most likely, take the world by storm.
But hang on a moment. Psychedelic was never gone. It was just living in the shadows, turntables and underground venues through the veins of very talented musicians like Prince Rupert’s Drops, The Goldberg Sisters or Cinema Novo.
So we shouldn’t be applying some revelatory comeback to something that has just taken a different route than the mainstream. We should be celebrating a new step for psychedelic rock and what better way then Kettering, England’s Temples?
Clay: While it is easy to celebrate the return of a genre simply due to having Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr in your corner, one has to be careful not to allow bands that are carbon copies of the Beatles or the Byrds. I don’t think that is the case with Temples, even though they wear their influences heavily on their sleeves; there is a lot to like here.
The echoed and faded sound of the 60s is all over Sun Structures, but so are heavy reverb and dirty riffs on the title track, as well as a country bounce (à la Band of Horses) in “Keep In the Dark.” And just when you think the beat is getting repetitive, you get hit with some glam-rock on “Mesmerise,” complete with wailing guitar tracks and James Bagshaw’s washed vocals. Is the bridge between 60s nostalgia with a splash of “whatever we’re calling this decade” enough to capture our attention for an entire album?
Greg: The biggest thing to take away from Sun Structures, even when comparing to the nostalgic 60s sounds, is the range of sound they deliver in the twelve tracks. The lead singles “Keep In The Dark” and “Mesmerise” are the heavy hitters of the record, but the songs don’t get old and the definitely don’t feel repetitive to me. The ethereal fades and the heavy handed distortion lingers throughout, but even then I don’t tire of this album.
Temples is emerging to the world through a record that can easily put them on a pedestal reminiscent of Wolfmother. They are the psychedelic, drifting, astral-plane Wolfmother. Though they never come screeching through in some chaotic attack on your psyche, they take a step left of mainstream and are taking the spotlight with them.
Clay: I can only hope they are able to take that spotlight along for a ride and gain that type of attention. The world could use another psychedelic revolution. But social commentary aside, I am really intrigued to see where this goes. If Temples are the vanguard of this 60s revival, I cannot think of a better banner carrier. The music bridge they have created between that half-century is wide enough to allow many to cross and is made of tempered steel.
Greg: Sun Structures, we can only hope, is the flag ship to a change in the musical winds. If the world will not take to the reincarnation of the psychedelic revolution they can at least agree that this is one hell of a record. It is, in my mind, without a doubt one of the most impressive debut full-length albums to be released in quite a while. Get it here from Fat Possum Records and see for yourself.