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Album Review: Temple - The Conscience Of The King
Milwaukee-Madison sideband comes front and center in this great debut

If you haven’t heard of Temple, perhaps you know some of the Milwaukee-Madison band’s many associated acts – a voluminous list that includes US Male, YLLA, Animals In Human Attire, Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band, The Zelda Routine, and Jamie Yanda (solo). While the band has managed just one attic-wrought, self-described “minimalistic” EP since its 2010 formation, the band members recently set aside its other projects long enough to step into local legend Shane Hochstetler’s Howl Street Recordings studio and commit this long-overdue debut full-length, The Conscience Of The King, to tape.

Abbreviated rocker, title track “The Conscience Of The King,” heaves the 10-song effort into motion with a heft of symbol crashes and roaring background vocals. It bleeds into equally raucous “Jasmine & Her Door,” which seems to channel The Storms Of Early Summer-era Cursive via Yanda’s brooding Tim Kasher-like vocals and terse percussion punctuating angular guitars. This is even more apparent on anti-jock anthem “Football On Stage” (an adapted Yanda solo song) and album-maker “To Make A Bomb” near the album’s conclusion, in which a subdued song mutates into a screaming fit of bombs, bullhorns and a barrage of “No, don’t make me do it!” in under five minutes.

Though other subtle nods to Can’t Slow Down-esque Saves The Day (the upbeat “Warm Chamber”), a modern Brand New B-side candidate (the gurgling interlude of ever-building “Heaven Eraser”) and an oft-present and hard-to-place aura of At The Drive-In, Temple puts some distance between itself and comparable acts with soft-spoken departure “Smooth Sculpture” and upbeat “Bleeding Time Machine” among other moments of the winding work.

In The Conscience Of The King, Temple – likely unconsciously – melds late-90s indie rock influence, catchy songwriting and accessible modern rock appeal to forge a formidable debut that gets better with every listen. Here’s hoping Temple continues to creep out from the sideband shadows.

Temple will release The Conscience Of The King at Cactus Club Saturday (10 p.m.), opening for Zebras and Like Like The The The Death. Stream or download (name your own price) The Conscience Of The King at Temple’s Bandcamp page.

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