What better time to post a review about a band named The Horrors than on Christmas Day? The contrast is delectable.
Anyways, I had never even heard of The Horrors until a couple of weeks ago when I started scouring best-of-the-year lists. The English five-piece had received a lot of nods for their third full-length release, Skying.
I’d noted it on several lists, but didn’t pay much attention until I read what Under the Radar magazine had to say after ranking it the year’s No. 5 album:
After the Sonics-worship of their debut and post-punk experiments of its follow-up, England’s The Horrors look back to the melodic rush of such ’80s bands as Simple Minds for Skying. Whether they settle into this sound remains to be seen, but for now they seem to have found a stylistic coat that fits just right.
That description piqued my interest, so I set forth listening to their entire catalog, including 2007’s Strange House and 2009’s Primary Colours.
I don’t know The Sonics’ sound well enough to compare the debut album. All I can say about it is that it was a nearly unbearable mishmash of industrial metal/punk garbage. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who dug that sound, but not me.
The sophomore disc was a welcomed departure from that earlier nonsense. While still rough around the edges, The Horrors start to find their niche in the post-punk genre. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve sworn this album came out in 1983, what with its strong early goth influences.
On the latest album, we find the boys sticking to the post-punk sound, but refining things and adding some slightly poppier inflection. While I certainly wouldn’t rank it among the best albums of the year, it does have its moments.
Some of the stronger tracks include “I Can See Through You”, “Dive In”, “Moving Further Away” and “Still Life”.