Temples return with their third album Hot Motion on ATO Records, their first on this label. First appearing on the music scene back in 2012 with the single ‘Shelter Song’ they have brought their own blend of 60s psychedelia to the table.
Since then two albums have been released: 2014’s Sun Structures and Volcano from 2017. Temples are James Bagshaw (lead vocal/guitar), Thomas Walmsley (bass, vocals), Adam Smith (keyboards, guitar, vocals) and Rens Ottink currently on drums on the live tour which covers Europe, the UK and the US. They are well known for being mesmerising live.
Title track Hot Motion begins with definitive lyrics: 14 days of commotion, 13 days in the storm, 12 long days of destruction, we are born. As Bagshaw sings the title the melody drops – and then soars, a bit like a rollercoaster ride. A great first track and a stand-out with infectious sound waves.
You’re Either Onto Something has a sugar-sweet 60s-vibe mixed with a drum and bass beat bringing a more modern feel to it. A harpsichord type-sound gives it a darker undercurrent not dissimilar to the Rolling Stones. Holy Horses brings a glam rock ambience combined with a galloping rhythm section. It’s got a vast cinemascope middle part to let your mind wander off somewhere. The galloping theme continues on The Howl evocative of a Western complemented by angelic vocals.
Context straightaway reminds me of a 70s/80s theme tune. It’s possibly Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which is apt as the song is very otherworldly and complex. The Beam has more glam-rock type toppings on this 80s sci-fi sounding feast.
Other tracks such as Atomise is another stand-out. It’s very Beatles Sergeant Pepper era. You feel like you’re being sent into space as 90 seconds in the energy builds and explodes like a 70s prog rock track with lots of surreal fanfare. Step Down rises and shimmers effortlessly with a funky sound and pointed guitar.
Hot Motion blends efflorescent grooves with strong song-writing underpinning the fabric of their third trip. Nostalgic dark twists abound merged with a contemporary vision on this vibrant album.