What does it sound like?:
Apparently they’re a bunch of middle class tossers in skinny jeans but I bloody love The Horrors. They had me from album number 2 having ‘released the bats’ and got their Birthday Party/Cramps/Lord Sutch thing out of their systems with ‘Strange House’. That early phase maybe was a smart move as they crashed into the music scene of 2005 with some impact, which only added to the astonishment when they came back with ‘Primary Colours’ – a Geoff (Portishead) Barrow production which mixed their gothic shlock with thunderous My Bloody Valentine guitars and Joe Meek style echo-chamber oddness. It established their M.O. of doing a bit of a swerve with each album, so rather than follow it up with more of the same they came up with ‘Skying’ which was a great lost Simple Minds album that could have slotted between Sparkle in the Rain and Once Upon a Time. ‘Luminous’ felt like a bit of a let down – a good record but felt like a companion to the previous album and not the transformation I’d come to expect (or maybe it was ‘Sister Feelings Call’ to their ‘Sons & Fascination’).
This time they’ve morphed once again into a whole new weird and wonderful shape- albeit with a lot of bits of the music they’ve previously done inevitably sticking to them like spoons to a magnetic boy – so they retain some little signature things which make a band ‘a band’. I’d term this one as a sort of Gothic Pop. There are lots of the spacey FX they’re famous for, lovingly tooled synth parts and several big anthems like ‘Gathering’ and ‘It’s a Good Life’ which easily rival the majestic ‘Still Life’. Opening track ‘Hologram’ tips the hat to Gary Numan and during the album I’m reminded of Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears and Trevor Horn – so lots of nods to clever pop of the 80s but with their own, idiosyncratic spin on it. The album ends – somewhat unexpectedly with ‘Something to Remember Me By’ a pretty full-on Indie Dance anthem you’d expect from Friendly Fires or Everything Everything. It’s a good but an odd way to end the record – typical Horrors.
What does it all *mean*?
It’s a bit over the top and a bit ridiculous but I love them for that. I love the fact you can hear whatever music they’re digging is reflected back in the music – and I’m hoping one day they do some completely batshit combination of Henry Cow, Spandau Ballet and Whitehouse – if anyone can do it they can.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Gary Numan, Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, Friendly Fires, Simple Minds, The Sound, The Cure, New Order, Curve