Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Temple

The Temple declare from the outset that they play ‘rawk fashioned from the unholy sound of Black Sabbath’ and that they are a ‘band that rocks with old school attitude.’ Immediately that leaves me saying that they are a little too much towards standard Heavy Metal fare for my usual taste, not really in the vein that I’d normally seek out. Their song titles, however, brush the fringes of Spacerock (‘Martian Attack’, ‘Deathray Baby’, ‘Children of the Darkside’), which was enough to generate some curiosity. With thanks then to the Yahoo Hawkwind discussion group’s StevePXR5, I’m in position of a collection of The Temple’s MP3s.

From these, I’m really still in a position of saying that they aren’t totally my glass of Coke, even though I can hear that much of what they do is both typical within their chosen genre, and well played and conceived in that context. ‘Stupid People’ is classic headbanger fare, play it right up loud because it’s definitely (and deafeningly) a grower with some nice lead guitar in the middle eight and a good driving rhythm to it. ‘In Doom’ has a grindingly slow and dark atmosphere, as dense and encompassing as black treacle with some really solid drumming at its backbone. ‘Martian Attack’ is real blanga: hard, rocking sci-fi music that then turns on a sixpence to some nice drifting instrumental rock that would have great to have heard them explore a little further instead of just being a unexpected temporary change of pace.

‘Children of the Darkside’ is back into that Sabbath style of HM, ‘Hell’s Chorus’ sees them experimenting a little, a cathedral organ sound with contemplative bass and a intoned lyric, is another interesting diversion that tells you this is a band with a few tricks up its collective sleeves. I liked this one a whole lot but it’s very short, which I only discovered after listening to it for a couple of minutes really absorbed in it and then saw that it was the same 19sec track set on ‘repeat’ on my player. It could work exceptionally well just like that, all joined up in a repeated mantra. ‘Exorcise My Mind’ follows on, the same mantra opening the track leading into some gritty vocals and powerful chords. Finally, ‘Deathray Baby’, another driving rock number, real mosh-pit stuff, a bit of cartoon sci-fi in its lyrics and a lot of, as we used to say, rock in its cock.

Summing up then, I approached this not quite knowing what to expect and with a bit of a negative attitude about where they were coming from, but actually found this Preston-based three piece to definitely have some good stuff about them, particularly when they step slightly aside or around their principal sound. I understand they may have an album forthcoming, I think it’ll be worth a listen, for sure. In the meantime, go check out their Myspace page!

The Temple Myspace Page

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