Trash to Treasure

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Present in the late-'90s Columbus, OH, music scene, Templeton offered up easy-to-swallow indie rock that skipped "poor me" broken-heart odes in favor of wry takes on sports, rock & roll, and bike gangs. Templeton's sound was a contrast to that scene's musical climate at the time, having been dominated by garage revivalists like the New Bomb Turks, Gaunt, and Them Wranch and noise-mongers like Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, not to mention the non-High St. area of town that readily embraced all things heavy metal. Soft/loud dynamics pulled straight out of the Superchunk handbook on how to be an indie rocker dominate the record on tracks like "Behind the Shed," the album's lead track and arguably its weakest. One of the album's catchiest tracks, "Football Song," is a cheeky ode to the sport set over a delightfully fuzzy chug worthy of Poster Children. Drawing its name and inspiration from a Columbus area bike gang (actual bikes -- vintage bicycles with pedals and everything), the rumbling "Trouble" is perhaps the album's strongest track, as the band seems to have found their own voice with the song. "Hard to Find" is restrained and minimal, and Christian Hurd's vocals are actually rather pretty, while "Math Rock 101" is driven by dark guitars and disenchanted vocals. A real break from the usual Templeton sound, "Low Rider" is a slowed-down sway with horns and sultry vocals written by Bigfoot's Dave and Melanie Holm, and it shows. With the follow-up EP, Useful, the revamped Templeton tapped deeper into their glam rock side and showed promise that their second full-length would be rock & roll pay dirt. However, shortly after the release of Useful Templeton called it quits, presumably so frontman Hurd could devote more of his time to his gig as bassist for fame-flirting power poppers Howlin' Maggie.

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