Another month, another Introducing show. You can’t say no when the nice people at Intro Magazine insist on bringing the best bands to your doorstep, and refuse to charge a single cent. It’s no surprise that this great idea is proving popular, and the boisterous queue outside Bi Nuu boozily obstructed pedestrians and traffic alike.
February’s showcase was headed by Temples, a psychedelic British boy band with more tightly permed curls than your average show poodle. Tipped as one of the hottest newcomers in the UK scene, the band released its self-produced debut, “Sun Structures,” only last month. The first single, “Shelter Song,” has been floating around on the internet since 2012, though, winning Temples festival bills and stellar support slots aplenty. They group was certainly the reason for the packed-out venue that night, and the name on the lips of every busy-looking industry type trying to skip the lengthy wait.
Support came in the form of Crystal Antlers. Formed way back when (2006!), this Californian three piece is positively ancient in comparison to the rest of the lineup. Three albums down, the group provides a more experienced, established foil to the heat surrounding the headliners. Easy and loose, the DIY sentiments and grunge aesthetic set heads nodding and Steins sloshing. Although fun, the set was disparate: radio-worthy rock hooks rubbed shoulders with spaced-out psych and gritty howls worthy of Dinosaur Jr. All enjoyable, but maybe a little surprising that Crystal Antlers have still yet to decide on a solid musical identity.
The same can’t be said for Temples, a band with its branding on lock. The four-piece sashayed onto a stage lit by woozy, kaleidoscopic greens and yellows, and, without a word of introduction, conjured up a chrysalis of cosmic twanging and hallucinogenic harmonies. Shimmering nostalgia at its best, the crowed whirled and spun from track to track, blanketed in crooned poetics. “Prisms” is a masterclass in Byrds-era acid, and “Ankh,” a mid-set gem, rolled out waves of what sounded like an organ (but almost definitely wasn’t) over a swaying, hypnotized crowd. Although not reinventing the wheel, Temples’ retro fixation is seductive and full-bodied. The evening culminated in a trippy, extended rendition of “Shelter Song,” one that was utterly absorbing. It was a rude awakening when the house lights came on.