The Horrors | Primary Colours

XL (2009)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 6, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

090508_horror_amin
The new Horrors long-player is a throwback of some kind, but to what? Perhaps to a post-punk '80s that is alien to us John Hughes–weaned Yanks, where ersatz angst set to an Anglophile soundtrack is replaced by actual drudgery and nausea.

The Horrors, on their sophomore outing, consolidate their veddy British sense of cool around the notion of steady beats, icy synths, and limpid splattering glops of melting guitar. Vocalist Faris Badwan does at times wear out his welcome in a tuneless fashion redolent of the doldrums one would typically encounter deep into side two of a Psychedelic Furs LP. But who cares?

When this band hit it, they hit it hard, with lysergic drones that are peculiarly nihilistic and open-ended. The Horrors excel at evoking the mood of that moment when you're so high that you realize this whole thing is real and dangerous and that something horrible could happen — like the dripping dream chorus of "Scarlet Fields," with shape-shifting guitars sounding like something whizzing by you on a late-night highway.

Epic album closer "Sea Within a Sea" is the soundtrack to a wild party gone wrong, its motorik steadiness, spaghetti-western aridity, and squalling guitar stalling on a lock-grooved arpeggio before collapsing into off-the-rails lunacy. It's a fitting dénouement to a stunning paean to sadness and decay.
Related: The Horrors | Skying, The Horrors change more than their hair, Bjork | Biophilia, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , John Hughes, John Hughes, CD reviews,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DANIEL BROCKMAN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE STROKES | COMEDOWN MACHINE  |  March 18, 2013
    The Strokes burst out in a post-9/11 musical world with a sound that was compact and airtight, melodies coiled frictionlessly in beats and fuzzed vocals.
  •   KMFDM IS A DRUG AGAINST BORE  |  March 13, 2013
    "In hindsight, honestly, it's almost impossible how it all happened."
  •   PALLBEARER SURVIVE EXTINCTION  |  February 20, 2013
    We all know that there is nothing more metal than a war.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? CHVRCHES  |  February 01, 2013
    If you are in a band and you've heard of Chvrches, you probably hate them.
  •   GLISS | LANGSOM DANS  |  February 01, 2013
    If rock and roll is three chords and the truth, then the mutant genre offspring shoegaze can be summed up as one chord, three fuzzboxes, and a sullen, muttered bleat.

 See all articles by: DANIEL BROCKMAN