Templeton – Trash to Treasure

Templeton
Trash to Treasure

Templeton’s a tough bird to tame. The music here runs from relatively mainstream rock to some sweet indie pop to a mass of power-rock noise. And it works in all three areas, even when they combine in the same song. I suppose that’s what makes this band good, the ability to combine sounds together without sounding “experimental.” I’ve heard them called noise-pop, which is a new combination to me. After all, noise leads me to hear more rock than pop, but it’s fitting in this case.

Trash to Treasure is this Columbus, Ohio band’s debut CD. The sound is typified by moving from quieter moments to all out rock-and-roll to some guitar-drenched noise. It’s like they’re not afraid to toss in Zeppelin and Neil Young with their indie rock. My biggest complaint is Christian Hurd’s voice, which has such a mainstream rock sound, I keep expecting the music to sound more that way. And at times, it does have a mainstream feel to it. I cringe a little bit at some of the sounds, but they change up quickly with more noise and wailing guitar, just in time to keep me interested and enthused.

“Behind the Shed” has an alternating sweet pop melody and wash of guitars drenched in distortion but not quite overpowering. There’s even some massive guitar washout in the middle topped off with an almost Zeppelin-like guitar wailing. “Want and Need” has a killer guitar riff that sounds very familiar but not overly popular. “Out of Body” has more of a bass-heavy groove to it, but it erupts more powerful and driving as well. It has some feel of the early 80s rock tossed in with some noise-rock goodness for an interesting mixture. I think “Football Song” annoys me the most, primarily because the silly playing football lyrics are way too forefront. The rock is good, though, and it even reminds me a bit of Nada Surf. “Trouble” is loud and angry, while “Hard to Find” is softer and more poppy, and I quickly find the former works better than the latter. “Math Rock 101” is not math-rock but rather grungy guitar and wailing distorted guitar laden rock. The horns in “Low Rider” make for a kinda groovy rock tune. “Personality” rocks kind of like a cross between Sonic Youth and Frank Black, with a little Weezer thrown in. “Just Another Day” is another good example of what they do best, both poppy in structure but filled with loud and driving guitars and bass, and here the vocals work perfectly, rising along with the music.

Templeton is just as difficult to pidgeonhole after a ton of listens. It teeters right on the edge of having that mainstream, Godsmack-y rock sound, but then the guitars start pounding and wailing, the bass kicks low, and the drums go wild, and suddenly you’re wondering how you ever thought that in the first place. It’s an interesting dichotomy, and it’s one that makes Templeton unique. Power-pop in a new direction, ya gotta love it.