Temples 'Volcano' Album Review

A late album review, BUT I just had to comment on it because it's one of my favourites of the year so far. 

British psych-rockers Temples’ second record ‘Volcano’ takes a shift in direction from their debut, grasping tightly onto enthralling synths with mind-altering effects.

With their light-hearted and un-troublesome aura, Temples are a band that have run the risk of seeming a little too pristine. Although this is still present in their sound, Volcano emits a slight but definite degree of darkness, as if teetering between two possible realities: one of tantalising euphoria, the other belonging to something of a weird dream.

For example, ‘All Join In' offers a galloping electronic beat, alongside ethereal synths bound by a glistening melody. The fluttering, theatrical introduction soon flourishes into a sleepy chorus, where frontman James Bagshaw's silky, almost child-like vocals soothe and sedate, tenderly slipping closer to sounding as if he's crooning a lullaby. 

One oddity that frequently recurs throughout the album is the use of peculiarly innocent, Disney-like melodies. Much of the album takes a dreamy, child-like atmosphere, but avoids sounding juvenile via a re-working by a group of Marc Bolan reincarnates. Instead, the band construct a care-free and optimistic reality where the darkness seems mostly out of reach.

'How Would You Like To Go’, ‘Open Air’ and ‘Strange Or Be Forgotten’ stand as some of the most impressive tracks on the album. Where Sun Structures was a cheerful stroll across an LA beach, ‘Volcano’ is the sunny meander through the seaside of a parallel universe; “We land upon the parallelogram on the sand of another land” - strange, sedate yet effortlessly flamboyant.

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