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Temple of Switches: Four

“This music is not meant to be listened to on a telephone.” Heed those words, which come at the end of the liner notes for Four, the fourth album from California’s Temple of Switches. This is mysterious, majestic music that deserves to be played through the loudest speakers you can find.

A stunning cacophony of rock, jazz and classical music -- combined with off-kilter melodies, distinct vocals and charming cynicism (just listen to “Your Fly Is Down” and "Human Zoo") -- make for a compelling listen. No two songs sound the same, and there is an element of anticipation as each new track begins.

Much of the credit for all this should go to multi-instrumentalist Tenk Van Dool, who wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on Four, and drummer David White. Guest vocalists include Amanda Lehmann from Steve Hackett’s live band, and the late bassist Dale Wiser plays on the album’s heaviest and wildest track, undeservingly titled “Dale’s Neglected Song.” The instrumental gives Van Dool, White and Wiser the freedom to gloriously jam for three-and-a-half minutes, leaving listeners wanting more.

That’s how they’ll feel after playing this entire album, too. Especially if it’s not on their phone.

Track Listing:
1. Welcome
2. Your Fly Is Down
3. The Wind
4. Pareidolia
5. Dale’s Neglected Song
6. Human Zoo
7. Llamada A San Crisobal (Chepos Song) [Album Version]
8. The Unfurling
9. Freeway
10. Go Champion
11. Lemongrass and Thyme

Added: June 30th 2022
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Temple of Switches Website
Hits: 935
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Temple of Switches: Four
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-07-06 05:13:26
My Score:

Temple Of Switches is an American progressive rock band that formed in 2012 and three years later they released their self titled debut album. Then came The Wings Of Mind in 2020, followed by their latest effort simple titled Four. The man behind the project is multi-instrumentalist Tenk Van Dool, supplying guitars, bass, keyboards, and vocals. He is also responsible for writing much of the music and lyrics as well as producing and mixing the album. Helping out are Amanda Lehmann (vocals on track 3), Kevin McConnell (vocals on track 6), Jim Chavez (vocals on track 9), Dale Wiser (bass on track 5), and David White (drums and percussion).

Four is an interesting and varied album as the band do not stick to the same template and touch on several different genres. This makes for quite a rewarding listen beginning with the album opening instrumental track “Welcome”. Heavy, cutting guitar riffs and an awesome bass line makes for creative musical entanglement. Swashes of synthesizers enter adding another subtle backing layer. The drums crash and the riffs get heavier before a serene calm takes hold. The tempo slows with the bass line continuing its pulsating groove. Trippy guitar work ensues adding an otherworldly vibe before the music gets intense once again. “Your Fly is Down” has an interesting arrangement with neat bursts of guitar, starting slow before the tempo increases, and various change ups follow suit. Organ is used to great effect and the lead vocals of Van Dool hint of David Bowie. Another excellent track. “The Wind” takes on a jazzier approach with Amanda Lehmann’s vocals and a sparser arrangement including elastic-like bass and distinct piano. With “Pareidolia” an East Indian vibe is maintained through the guitar and tabla-like percussion. The psychedelic sound is positively intoxicating.

To sum it up, Four takes you on a world wide trip through various genres, but all contained within the progressive idiom. Its creative nature and fine musicianship should satisfy a wide range of progressive music fans, including this one. Definitely recommended.

» Reader Comments:

Temple of Switches: Four
Posted by Tenk Van Dool on 2022-07-02 23:11:47
My Score:

Temple of Switches is honored to be reviewed by Sea of Tranquility. Thank you Michael

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