Temples: Volcano review – heaped spoonfuls of psychedelic sugar


With opener Certainty’s trilling keyboard pitched halfway between OMD and an ice-cream van chime, Temples’ second album sets its stall out early. With the exception of Roman God-Like Man’s appropriation of the melody from Pink Floyd’s Grantchester Meadows and the howling synths of Bowie’s Breaking Glass, there are fewer of its predecessor’s gauche fanboy steals; instead the effect is more home-synthesised psychedelia with ecstatic J-pop visuals. Just occasionally, as on Oh the Saviour, the Kettering four-piece leave some of the sprinkles off their confections, revealing a reassuring bar or two of acoustic guitar. But fragrant, proggy steering wheel-tappers such as (I Want to Be Your) Mirror or the breakneck bubblegum romp of Open Air betray where they’re really at: an enjoyable, hairy answer to the question of what ELO might have sounded like had they been produced by Joe Meek. If something is missing, it’s any kind of dark heart. After these 12 heaped spoonfuls of sugar, you may be left yearning for the medicine.


Martin Horsfield

The GuardianTramp

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