Psychedelic meets indie pop in the unique sound of Temples. The band's debut album attracted a pretty loyal following, and their follow up looks to continue their sound. Temples expand their psychedelic horizons in Volcano, but it does feel like it's missing something for the outside crowd.
The entirety of Volcano stays grounded in a dreamy, indie sound the serves as the core for every track. It sounds its best in 'Certainty,' the album's opening track. The chunky guitar riff and rolling drums that bring the song in give the record a bustling start, but that more brooding mood is quickly traded for something more fun and curious, with bouncy and fun synths quickly parading in to sparkle all around the track. The bassline runs childishly above the song's solid beat and big atmosphere. A bunch of sweet little bits are thrown in throughout the track, keeping it interesting. The end of the track comes in brightly, bustling with a sort of rejuvenated energy before fading out on one sweeping chorus synth.
There are a few signature tones that make up the rest of the record. There are cinematic vibes in the glitchy, faraway '(I Want To Be Your) Mirror,' ringing with the same innocence as the previously discussed track but with a slightly more tightened drive. The same driven sound can be found in 'Open Air' amongst its soaring guitar riffs. Dreaminess takes over in 'Born Into The Sunset,' the aesthetic of the distorted guitar riffs and atmosphere of the verses providing for a lo-fi drive through California.
The problem with Volcano is that there really isn't much fluidity to it. A lot of the songs on this album feel like a bunch of sounds just thrown together to create some distorted track that have big choruses. There aren't really any songs that are genuinely bad, but few songs really shine their true colors. Psychedelic music shouldn't sacrifice the means of achieving a sound by disregarding the principles of each song.
Temples certainly continued to expand their influence in the psychedelic and indie world with Volcano, but by doing so they do sacrifice some integrity of their music. The songs on Volcano are good, but at times feel like a culmination of sounds put there out of necessity to create a sound, without regard for keeping the song restrained. It's a double-edged blade, but in the end you can still enjoy much of the record just listening to it as it comes.
Favorite Tracks: Certainty, (I Want To Be Your) Mirror
Least Favorite Track: How Would You Like To Go?
Rating: 70 / 100
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