The Horrors


Written by: TL on 28/05/2014 11:19:12

The British indie/shoegaze quintet The Horrors are a band that have been in the periphery of my radar for a while, although admittedly in large part because they were a favourite of "one that got away", so while I've been listening to them and have seen them in concert, it's only a minority of songs from the band's three albums that have stuck with me. Originally a noisy and gothy sounding outfit, things got brighter and more trippy progressing towards the expansive "Skying" from 2011 and with the new album "Luminous" The Horrors continue to mesh their most eerie characteristics with the more poppy ones of larger brit-rock names like Oasis and Suede.

The result is a record full of lengthy numbers where sounds that at first feel almost gratingly bright and commercial are twisted into trippy, droning caricatures of themselves, on top of which lead singer Faris Badwan continues to muse in prolonged notes, although now more often in his higher, more airy registry instead of the often threatening graveyard croon he employed to haunting effect on previous efforts.

While The Horrors themselves sound wholly engaged in their layers of trippy noises however, it's not the easiest task for the listener to follow them there, especially not if you're used to conventional ideas of guitar riffs, which are hardly found in the droning developments of synth and pedal effects. As seems to be The Horrors' concept these days, songs like "I See You" and "So Now You Know" are catchy enough to spark recognition on returning listens - like shades of the "hit song" "Still Life" from the last album - but they lack in dynamics and developments that surprise or pull you in.

Throughout the album The Horrors consistently keep to low-to-mid tempos, showing perhaps the most laid back attitude in rock music, seemingly confident that their psychedelic, sonic tapestries will speak for themselves and prove immersive enough for listeners to be swept up, but I hardly see this potential with listeners of all temperaments. Personally, while I find the album recognisable and eclectic enough, I simultaneously find it samey and unengaging, often finding myself wishing for something more eventful instead of really tracing the band's progressions in songs down the stretch of the album - Which really speaks its own clear language overall. It's anyone's guess if The Horrors would've caught my eye without romantic interest in the first place, but they clearly aren't really what I'm looking for in 2014.


Download: So Now You Know, I See You
For The Fans Of: Chapel Club, Toy, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Oasis,

Release date 05.05.2014
XL Records

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