Fire Note Says: The new album from The People’s Temple is a fertile Musical Garden.
Album Review: The People’s Temple has been one of my go to bands for whenever I want a 60’s garage rock fix. Hailing from Lansing, Michigan, these guys bring the psychedelic leanings of the Electric Prunes and fuse them to the kick ass rock power of The Seeds and somehow give it a modern stamp that gives it the authenticity that many bands strive for but few actually achieve. On their latest album, Musical Garden, the band offers up perhaps their most satisfying batch of songs, more varied than its predecessors, and perhaps a touch more enjoyable because of it.
The People’s Temple has always brought the rock, but Musical Garden shows the band bringing the tunes as well. “Handsome Nick” is as catchy as anything they have ever done. It features a great vocal, and a driving beat that just doesn’t let up. It’s propulsivity is infectious. I dare you to NOT tap your foot to this one. “I Heard You Singing” is the type of early 60’s nugget that Barry and The Remains would have released, it’s slower, more earnest in the vocal delivery, but with all of the reverb and distortion it still hits you in the gut like a sack of Idaho potatoes. “Good Times, Bad Luck” is another throwback to the mid-sixties. Where many garage bands focus on the late 60s and early 70s, The People’s Temple are hitting the sweet spot, right before The Beatles left the concert stage for good. 1965 was a fertile year for Rock and Roll, and ripe for the taking. Bands had tunes and attitude, and on Musical Garden, The People’s Temple has shown that they learned that lesson well.
If you like your garage rock with just a touch of psychedelia and heavy on the tunes, then Musical Garden is definitely the album for you. It always seems to hit the spot for me, it’s not anything earth shattering, they definitely aren’t remaking the wheel, but it sure is nice and sounds good to these ears, and you know what does the wheel really need remade?. I like this one a little bit better than More for the Masses, but it’s pretty close. This is yet another good album, from a really good band.
Key Tracks: “Good Times, Bad Luck” / “Handsome Nick”/ “I Heard You Singing”
Artists With Similar Fire: Barry and the Remains / The Seeds / The Electric Prunes
The People’s Temple Facebook
– Reviewed by Kevin Poindexter