Release Date: Sep 27, 2019
Record label: ATO
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
After an album (2017's Volcano) where the band stretched their psychedelic approach to add synthesizers and some different song structures, Temples return to basics on their third record, Hot Motion. Recording again at vocalist/guitarist James Bagshaw's house, they banished synths and minimalism while instead taking the template of their first album -- thundering T. Rex-style boogie, glimmering guitar textures, soaring vocal harmonies, songs as sticky-sweet as anything from the 1968 pysch-pop underground -- and making it brighter and shiner.
These days, if a band makes it as far as a third full-length album it can be counted as something of a triumph in and of itself. Given the fickle state of the contemporary music industry, it comes as something of a surprise to find a band or artist who has been able to develop and be nurtured in a way that was commonplace at one time, but is now all-too-rare in the headlong rush for hits and the monetizing of creativity, often not for the benefit of the people creating the art themselves. Temples, mercifully, are one such band.
Temples' prismatic cuts of modern psych felt awe-inspiring even before album one, and the fizzy melodies of 2017's 'Volcano' jolted them even higher. So it's no surprise that with 'Hot Motion' the Kettering bunch are three for three on epic records that froth with lush, honeyed noise. Delving into this album is a real adventure. Uncharacteristically gloomy at times but for the most part curiously disorienting, its diffracted production is more 'Sun Structures' than 'Volcano' except with a level of conviction that comes only from musicians who've truly honed their craft.
Temples have been around long enough to know their strengths. The Kettering band work with a purpose, which usually results in sublime, melodic writing, immersive atmospherics and mesmerising production. Coming out on the other side following a change in record label and a new drummer, they are stronger than ever, and the quality of this album speaks for itself.