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4.7 out of 5 stars
Sun Structures
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
Temples is an up-and-coming indie-rock band. They have created quite a buzz with their early singles, in particular their very first single "Shelter Song" in late 2012. After a couple more singles in 2013, now finally comes the highly anticipated full-length debut album. If you are unfamiliar with the band's sound, think early Beatles-meets-the Byrds-meets-BJM, adjusted for the 21st century.

"Sun Structures" (12 tracks; 53 min.) opens with the afore-mentioned "Shelter Song" (1st UK single), with one of the more distinctive (if derivative) opening guitar riffs in a long time. Much has been made of singer-guitarist-producer James Bagshaw's love for the 'simple' song structures of Beatles songs, and it reflects in the opening track more than any other song on here. But in a sense, "Shelter Song" is a bit misleading as the album quickly becomes denser, with lots of reverb and at times a wall of sound, aided by a generous use of Mellotrons (check the title track). "Keep In the Dark" (3rd UK single) is a lighter tune, carried by acoustic guitar (and reminding me of some Oasis songs). "Mesmerise" (4th UK single) comes next, and continues in the same vein. By track 7 we get "Colours to Life" (2nd UK single), another stand-out song, an up-tempo rocker that is just one of several tracks reminding me in spirit, if not more, of Tame Impala's "Lonerism" album from late 2012 (just as Temples were starting, coincidentally). Towards the end of the album, just as the album starts to lag a bit with "The Guesser" (the weakest track on here for me) there are 2 more gems, the up-tempo "Test of Time", which reminds me of Oasis at its best, and the monster 7 min. "Sand Dance", with its Eastern influences and a 3 min. instrumental outro that will blow your mind.

All in all, "Sun Structures" is a fantastic debut album confirming the promise of the early singles, and then some. I know that we are early in the year still, but I'm guessing that this will be a strong contender to make the top of my "Best Albums of 2014" list come later this year. If you loved Tame Impala's "Lonerism", you will absolutely love "Sun Structures" too. Temples will be touring the US in a couple of months and I already have my tickets for when they come here to Ohio in late April. Can't wait for that! Meanwhile, "Sun Structures" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

*UPDATE* (April '14) I just saw these guys live at a small venue here in Ohio and they brought a blazing 60 min. set, playing mainly from this album, along with 2 songs I didn't recognize (probably B-sides). Their last song before the encore was "Sand Dance", sounding even more epic than on the album. Wow, just wow. If you have a chance to see them, DO NOT MISS THEM!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2014
If you want to make comparisons with Tame Impala go ahead. Whereas TA have produced a great album it doesnt have the drive or power of the Temples offering here.
The fact that these guys are British leads you to believe that they are only influenced by UK artists of the sixties. I firmly belive that whilst Tame Impala are wholeheartedly basing their sound on that era, Temples are equally influenced by the likes of Prince and rock bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle club and the more 'pop' sound of Kula Shaker.
The great songs here are numerous and I believe the whole album able to sound fresh and exciting. The only let down are the slower tracks otherwise it would b 5*****
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2014
It seems fitting that Temples' debut arrives on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. All I can say is, I haven't been this excited for a new UK band since the early days of Oasis. Hard to believe that we've been waiting for this album since "Shelter Song" was released in late 2012, but the wait was well worth it.

Temples has perfectly captured that freakbeat sound of the 60s without sounding the least bit derivative or precious; brilliant, dense layers of studio psychedelia set to a solid beat. Although their closest sounding contemporaries are likely Toy, Tame Impala & The Black Angels, enthusiastic comparisons to The Beatles, Beach Boys, Byrds, Zombies, Kinks, Phil Spector, T Rex, etc will rightfully ensue. They've expertly blended all of it into something genuinely modern and unique.

Standout tracks: Shelter Song, Keep In The Dark, Mesmerise, Colours To Life, A Question Isn't Answered.

I predict that 2014 will see a distinct rise in the number of American pop psych bands faking British accents because of Temples...

Oh yeah, and we'll all fall in love with James Bagshaw's hair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2014
It grows on you. It catches you with a bit of a hook, you start humming it without noticing, then before you know it you flow from one track to another. Perhaps it's a nostalgia thing, for it sounds as if it's been dragged through a wormhole from the 60s. To the person who commented on the drummer. He looks like the boy in the UK TV series called Saxondale a few years back, which makes me chuckle, but hey 'It's called originality man... it's ALL about the music unless it's pop cr*p you're talking about. He plays drums in an original, and pretty brilliant, way, cut him some slack. Ace stuff!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2014
Right from the start you get hooked by this gem of an album. If the Last Shadow Puppets had babies with The Bees then Temples are the result and what a jolly family it would be. This has been a great little find and was purchased after hearing Shelter Song on BBC 6 Music. The thumping drums, the catchy guitar riffs and the hauntingly beautiful singing will grab you and not let you out of its grip. The first 8 tracks could all be singles as far as I'm concerned which makes this is an 'absolutely must buy' for all (indie) music lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2014
Love it, psychedelic sounds and mellow beats mixed together to make a wonderful album of music from a band in the UK
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2014
Great tunes throughout and nailed the 60's psych vibe.
If you enjoyed Introspection by The End,you'll love this.
Just don't expect the same sound live.I'll say no more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
I love this LP so much! Not a single song that wasn't enjoyable. The fact amazon got it to me so quickly and in good order added to excitement on getting this
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I totally understand what they are trying to do and I wish them luck in the future but...I'm not sure that they have quite fulfilled their potential here. Its a type of music of which I am a fan , basically mid 60's psychedelic pop , but its all a bit twee and unfortunately lacks bite and energy, and on occasion sounds more like the 5th Dimension than the Byrds - ie rather how psych pop sounded in the hands of producers rather than musicians. Its also a bit samey. If it had been released in 1965-68 it would have sounded very ordinary I'm afraid. I'm sure they are sincere and hopefully touring will give them some more grit because the potential is there.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 February 2014
Psychedelia has really had a resurgence in the last year or so with bands like Tame Impala leading the way. Temples are the latest to try and plough this furrow with their debut album. Hailing from Kettering they are far from the hustle and bustle of 60's London and Carnaby Street. However, Shelter Song bursts in like something from that era. Catchy and out of time this is a real throwback number. The rest of the album follows suit with songs like The Golden Throne, Move With The Season and a Question Isn't Answered being the most instantly memorable numbers. None of the songs are overly long, which has been an issue with many pysch albums. However, the thing that holds it back from five stars for me is that it doesn't bring anything new to the genre. Tame Impala sounded fresh whereas this is such a throwback album it feels like it could have been recorded many years ago. This isn't a bad thing and for a debut album this is assured and memorable.

When everything outside is wet and gloomy (released in Feb 2014 this is particularly pertinent) this is a ray of sunshine. Joyous and glowing in its happiness.
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