The much-coveted musical sweet spot is an elusive one for bands and musicians of all genres and time periods. The almost alchemical confluence of musical inspiration and urgency may end up presenting itself for only a single song, as in the “one hit wonder”, or a single album, while for others it is a lifelong exercise. Some bands stumble upon their sweet spot early and then spend the rest of their careers convincing themselves that they haven’t,while others spend their careers tinkering with its variations. Musicians like David Bowie and his contemporaries The Arcade Fire seem to make it their singular focus to find their sweet spot and then stretch it to its very outer boundaries. Others, on the other hand, have found their small sweet spot and refined it such that it becomes an almost rigid boundary surrounding all of their work. That final description may be best reserved for British rock trio Temples.
With a dedication to the late sixties sound that borders on obsession, Temples are a band that unabashedly channel inspiration from a time gone by. Guitar-driven, vocally-layered, and with a penchant for foot-stomping rock songs, the trio have deviated very little from their debut album, 2014’s Sun Structures, now to their third, 2019’s Hot Motion. As with all of their other releases, Hot Motion has its fair share of hits – “Context”, “Holy Horses” and “Monuments” – and misses – the painfully cliché call-to-arms “The Howl”. As a whole, it fits comfortably within the sweet spot that the band have carved out over the past five years, even if the strictness of those confines seems like it may end up creating restrictions to the band’s creativity. Famous for their thundering live sets, Hot Motion adds a handful of tracks to Temples’ potential set-lists that may find greater life in a live format as well.
Their obsession with bygone days of rock n’ roll may feel a bit over-the-top at times, but there is still little questioning that this is a band that know how to write a foot-stomping rock song and give no fucks whether you like them or not.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: TEMPLES – HOT MOTION