- Sun Structures
Give me a time machine, some vinyl copies of Temples’ Sun Structures, and set the controls for somewhere in the late 1960s. I’ll be back in a flash and we’ll be sitting here talking about those long-haired lads from England’s Midlands who changed the world with their swirling harmonies, shape-shifter guitars, organ passages that disappeared into the clouds, and bass/drum foundations that were rooted in the center of the earth.
In lieu of the time machine, let us be here now and enjoy those aforementioned swirling harmonies and all the rest: Temples’ music might spark all sorts of retro thoughts/memories/dreams, but they are very much in the present.
Something clicked early on for the foursome: within a few months of their formation less than two years ago, they’d cut the album-opening “Shelter Song” – the sort of psychedelic masterpiece that most bands of the genre would sacrifice a limb or two to come up with. Sweet guitar jangle, well-textured vocals and paisley-colored washes of keys are booted in the bum by a walloping bass line – and the whole works is lugged effortlessly on the back of a massive drum. When you consider that Temples guitarist/vocalist James Bagshaw had the perspective, imagination, and confidence to handle the production chores on “Shelter Song” – along with the rest of the tracks on Sun Structures – you have to admit: it’s quite a feat.
Just as no righteous guitar-powered rock ‘n’ roll band is going to get through a set without a Stones reference along the way, Temples can’t help but remind you of fine things from the past now and then. Marc Bolan’s ghost dances through “Keep In The Dark”, for instance – but it damn well should if a band is going to travel in such territory, eh?
Really, you’re better off forgetting about playing Name That Influence and simply dig the dozen dollops of psychedelicized fun found on Sun Structures. The band manages to pull off the unique feat of blending solid ear-grabbing hooks with kaleidoscope soundscapes … you might even swear that back-to-back listens of the same track differ, although all the good parts are still there. As vaporous as cuts such as “Colours To Life” and “Mesmerise” might be, the grooves are rock-solid. Even “Sand Dance” (the Byrds and the Yardbirds visit Kashmir) never loses its ability to make you move, no matter how weird the going gets.
And this is Temples’ debut?
Forget about going back in time; this band has a great future.
Brian Robbins peers through a kaleidoscope over at www.brian-robbins.com