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Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Julian Temple Band: Ceiling In The Sky

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Julian Temple Band: Ceiling In The Sky

Dunedin’s Julian Temple Band remain one of that city’s most loved alt-rock/pop bands, with a superb live reputation. With four previous albums to cement their status, it’s here with number five that they may have finally found their breakthrough. Easy listening without being boring, and intense without being heavy, ‘Ceiling In The Sky’ instead feels more as an intimately recorded live album, a fly-on-the-wall snapshot of the band at their best. Good Golly sounds post-Brit pop with added gravel, whilst Rest My Bones could be counted amongst the recent indie-country trend. The band have no problem crossing genres, instead serve their own songcraft, carefully applying anything that meets their purpose.

Featuring Julian Temple on guitars and vocals, Paul McMillian (bass and electric guitar plus vox), Alex Vaatstra (violin, viola and piano) and Paul McLennan-Kissel on drums, the 14 songs were recorded and mixed by Mike Holland at Albany Street Studios. The production works to the band?s strengths, leaving the songwriting to shine through. Vaatstra’s string-work has never sounded so eerie nor epic, whilst Temple’s voice only keeps improving, adding a touch of delta blues to whatever mood they pursue. From Springsteen-esque classic rock (Burning Sun), laid-back jazzy indie-chill (The Voyeur) or song-story epics (Wishing Well), there’s a dizzying array of moods and textures on offer here. Scores of bands would kill to have the songwriting talents of Temple, and it’s about time his band got the credit they so rightly deserve.