Temples return with a new SNES flavoured 8bit synth sound, peppered with their trademark psychedelic stamps.
It’s been a while. After dropping one of 2014s best albums retro-psych titans Temples have returned like the Jedi. Since we last caught them Temples have been all over the world; touring, festival-ing and probably smoking lots of drugs whilst messing around with synths. ‘Sun Structures’ gained confident, exciting reviews by critics who praised its lavish attention to detail, instrumentation and glorious production value, garnering comparisons to Aussie psych-gods Tame Impala.
However, where would they go next? Were they to relentlessly tour, not even a morsel of fresh material to coax back some interest, eventually running out of steam having mastered their acid-rock retrogressions with no creative ground left to cover?
No. But it certainly looked that way.
For me, Temples are to Tame impala perhaps what Jeremy Corbyn is to New Labour (minus the Iraq War). They’re parallel, a far more left-field, hardcore incarnation of, basically the same thing. If Sun structures were Temples’ (Syd Barrett rather than Rodger Waters influenced) uncompromisingly retro ode to psych and freakbeat then ‘Lonerism’ was the reverse, bountiful, contemporary sneaks slotted in here and there. Temples new album, therefore, will perhaps epitomize a more radical attempt at buzzing off of ‘Currents’ and its synth-loaded digression from guitars. New single ‘Certainty’ does exactly that.
A Clumping beat starts the track off, closely followed by growling Fuzz/lead synths bobbing along with certified hip-hoppy aggression. It’s certainly not the Trex-esq powder pop or glossy swirlings of their previous endeavor. The distorted 8bit melody line then ruptures through – it’s either a Legend of Zelda or Star Fox sample but I can’t put my finger on which…Either way, it’s epic – the melody, evoking my inner 80s space-cowboy, mythological He-Man type character, riding on stars through a galaxy in transformers.
Temples have taken the synth-based pop of their Aussie counterparts and sucker-punched it with their own trademark mythical/ medieval folk melodies. Bagshaw’s resonating vocals soar over the tracks layered concoction of electronica – its classic temples melodicism; hints of character from the bass and drums occasionally squeak into the spotlight during the verses with Folk-Floyd, background chants, their archetypal flasceto-based model descends/ascends and essential euphoric choruses.
There’s definitely a strong whiff of both ‘currents’ and the dark, synth-based grooves of The Horrors but Temples standalone, never in the shadow of either band, they do their own thing – they’re fabulous musicians.
It’s an unexpected twist for Temples yet they haven’t changed all that much bellow the surface. The instrumentation has evolved yet the core ideology behind their psych revolution has remained the same: retro yet unique Bubblegum melodies, lavish production and gorgeous instrumentation.
I can’t wait for the album.