Hot Motion is the third album of the British psychedelic rock band, Temples. After breaking into the indie mainstream in 2014, eyes have been on the group to see if they are true psychedelic pioneers of it is all just a gimmick. If they hadn’t proved the former to be true on Volcano, all doubts can be put aside after listening to Hot Motion.
The opener and titular track immediately creates a moody psychedelic vibe. To the untrained ear, it is at points difficult to distinguish the track from a Tame Impala anthem. As the album progresses, however, Temples’ signature sound becomes apparent. The gritty guitars and playful pop melodies create a unique retro sound which has been masterfully adapted for a millennial audience. The psychedelic tone is not a fad. This is Temples dipping into their musical influences and creating something new.
“Holy Horses” is another great track which is heavily influenced by The Beatles. What makes it a Temples track is the fuzzy bass, distortion and wavy vocals. The thundering bass and changing melodies keep you on your toes and pull you right back into the 1960s.
The groovy basslines and lively guitars continue into the “The Howl” and “Context” but it is at around this point that the record starts to lose its oomph. Although “The Howl” starts off well, it starts to become repetitive and cyclical. It feels like something is building up, waiting to erupt into a fulfilling climax, only it never does.
There are some gems among the more samey tracks of the album. “It’s All Coming” out, for example, is refreshing after the mediocre “Not Quite The Same” and “Atomise”. The lyrics are not Temples’ finest, but “You’re Either Onto Something” more than makes up for it. James Bagshaw himself even claimed that these are some of the best lyrics he has written and it is easy to see why. He drones: “It was three hours after midnight / Rekindled youth was on our side / The night owls crept behind my shoulders /And soon no one was left around / We should call it a night.”
In conclusion, Hot Motion is in fact somewhat inconclusive as an album. It may have some less captivating tracks but at the same time, there is a strong sense throughout that Temples know the sound they want to create. It may just take a little more trial and error to get it right but so far, they have given us plenty of reason to continue listening.