Templar Under The Sun

The result of some West Coast band shuffling, Templar is trying to make a name for itself with their first CD, Under The Sun. A curious mix of dance, pop and angry rock'n'roll, the album opens with the electronically powered "The Need" and continues from there to explore both computerised and organic pop sounds. Sounding just a mite bit more flaccid than early Nine Inch Nails efforts, the album still has enough brute strength to make an impression. Singer and songwriter Murray Yates does a good job in delivering a raw, passionate edge to his overt, yet not clichéd lyrics. The Canadian quartet seems to be heavily influenced by the pop of their generation, from Garbage to Prodigy to the Smashing Pumpkins. But to its credit, the band does not wear these influences on their musical sleeves. Under the Sun sometimes sizzles; the eclectic sound seems to hit its stride on tunes like "Here We Go" and the title track. Some of the other tunes do not fare as well, as the amalgamated sound seems a little disjointed and jarring. As a whole, though, the texture is an interesting and worthwhile one. Templar is able to ride the strength of Yates's songwriting to make Under The Sun a good first look at an innovative new band. (EMI)