Temples stirred up quite a commotion last year in the U.K. Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher were positively effusive, and it’s easy to hear how these master pop architects fell under Temples’ spell. Hooks abound on Sun Structures, and the title track is so bubbling over with cool turnarounds and breakdowns that it’s a virtual encyclopedia of ’60s guitar pop.
While Temples’ songwriting and production are thoughtful, the band borrows unabashedly from the cupboard of ’60s chestnuts. The production clearly aims for Spector’s Wall of Sound, but just as often recalls Tame Impala’s contemporary reverb-exotica. The melodies use the snaky half-step slide from a dozen James Bond themes a few times too many. And the band probably owes Marc Bolan’s ghost a beer for the glam-happy “Keep in the Dark.”
Temples’ sound would benefit from a few future-facing elements and a little more irreverence. But they’re ace songsmiths with great ears for a hook. And it’ll be a kick to imagine where a less rigid sense of classicism could lead them next. In the meantime, this is a beautifully melancholy and sugar-sweet trip for anyone who savors lush psychedelic guitar pop.
Must-hear track: “Sun Structures”