Temples – Hot Motion

An entertaining, if overly familiar, trip into 60s psychedelia.
Label: ATO Records
Released: 27th September 2019
Rating: ★★★

There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by something else. After all, there aren’t many original ideas left. It’s how you present those ideas that is the key to exciting art. Across both ‘Sun Structures’ and ‘Volcano’, Temples’ interpretation of 60s psychedelia has been a studious one; hitting all the right notes to evoke an era of flared pants and massive hair.

Now on their third record, ‘Hot Motion’, it seems that the Kettering three-piece are still going through the same motions. It’s frustrating more than anything because Temples clearly love what they do. This isn’t manufactured obsession, jumping onto a 60s revivalism. This is a genuine passion for that era, and it shines through in everything they do. From the ominous march of ‘The Howl’ to the Marc Bolan glam of ‘The Beam’, there’s unrivalled attention to detail here.

But in this studious rendering of their idols, it leaves little room for a modern play on it to shine through. As such ‘Hot Motion’, like Temples’ previous records, feels more like a history lesson than anything original. If you were to listen to this record without any prior knowledge as to what you were listening to, your brain would instantly think towards T. Rex and Mud – not a band in 2019.

It feels cruel to compare Temples to festival juggernauts Tame Impala, but in them lies the two paths a band influenced by 60s psychedelia can take. One is a route of meticulous recreation, pedantically evoking the era they’re so passionate about. The other is taking that era and using it as a springboard for other ideas, taking something old into places in another dimension.

At the end of it all, ‘Hot Motion’ is an entertaining, if overly familiar, trip into 60s psychedelia. Played with a keen ear for melodies and warped soundscapes, they capture the era perfectly. There’s just a feeling that maybe a tour off the beaten path could have rendered more rewarding results.

Chris Taylor

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