MusicReview

Temples “Mesmerize” Boston

Aiden Teplitzky Dobens ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Temples. Photo: Temples Facebook page.
Temples. Photo: Temples Facebook page.

On Friday, October 24th, Temples brought their psychedelic infused classic rock to the Paradise Rock Club.

Temples, consisting of James Bagshaw and Thomas Walmsley, originated in 2012 in Kettering, England. Only half a year after the release of their debut album, Sun Structures, the hype around Temples is tremendous. Comparisons to the more well known psychedelic group, Tame Impala, have often been made. The fact that the Smiths’ Johnny Marr has labeled Temples as the best new band in Britain is a testament to their rise.

The feeling outside the venue was seemingly split down the middle. There were those who adored the debut album, and those who had vaguely heard of them, but wanted to see if they were anything worth caring about. The age of the audience was of particular note, as there were mostly college students and then mainly 40 somethings.

Temples casually walked on stage, gathered their instruments, and immediately started playing the second track off their album, “Sun Structures.”

A criticism of Temples’ music is their lack of adventure. Their music is carefully created in their studio, with all aspects of their songs crafted to perfection. Yet, while they do a lovely job of merging psychedelic elements with classical rock styles, they don’t take many, or any, risks.

This was evident during their live show. James Bagshaw, the lead singer, didn’t have much of a stage presence as he was entirely concerned with the music quality. He rarely spoke to the crowd, and had no distinguishing energy or charisma.

While the aesthetic of the concert was lacking, the musical execution was near flawless. The music sounded just as good, if not better, than it did on the album. Temples was in a trance, all playing together with telepathic unison. Every note sounded brilliant. Every line executed to perfection. The sound was crisp, pure, enthralling.

Their second song, “A Question Isn’t Answered”, which is arguably the most compelling track off the album, was brilliant live. The use of clapping at the beginning was one of the few instances during the show where the crowd really got involved, and the positive result was an example of what Temples could accomplish in a live setting.

About halfway through the show, opinions in the crowd seemed split. One fan remarked “These guys are the best live band I’ve seen this year”, while others flocked to the bar or were chatting on their iPhone’s, detached from the music.

Temples played most of the songs off their debut album, and their encore performance was thrilling.

After the crowd spent a good 5-10 minutes chanting “One more song!”, Temples came out with an almost never ending rendition of their single, “Mesmerize.” It must have lasted for at least 10 minutes, and the crowd jammed along with its psychedelic vibe.

Fans left the Paradise Rock Club pleasantly entertained by a great musical performance, but an ability to put on a show was left to be desired. Temples is just starting out, and odds are they will develop a stronger stage presence next time they come around.

If they do, and keep up that level of musical meticulousness, Temples will surely fulfill some of their obvious potential.

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