The Horrors made themselves known a few years ago. They had a strong image but little else to recommend them, with their appeal unlikely to stretch beyond black-clad students; eager to grab on to the coat tails of the new fashionistas. That was several years ago though and The Horrors have not only made a second album (a surprise in itself) but also filled it with a quite magnificent set of songs.
From ‘Mirror’s Image’s sedate intro to the lengthy, sprawling Krautrock coda that is ‘Sea Within A Sea’, ‘Primary Colours’ sounds like an important event. It is undoubtedly referential to the past – ‘Do You Remember’ apes the brilliant riff from Siouxsie And The Banshees’ ‘Nighshift’ and for ‘New Ice Age’, frontman Faris gives his best Pete Murphy impersonation – but when that past is a crossroads between Bauhaus and the My Bloody Valentine school of shoegaze, you know you’re in for a thrilling ride.
In the case of ‘Who Can Say’ and ‘Scarlet Fields’, the effect is disorientating and exciting; like travelling on a rollercoaster with an undercarriage of buzzsaw guitars and ghost train synths for company. ‘I Only Think Of You’ sees a change of pace but The Horrors tackle it brilliantly with a glacial, distorted work of beauty.
One could suggest ‘Primary Colours’ gives a welcome shot in the arm to the genres of shoegazing and goth. To put it more simplistically though, it’s one of the best albums of the year.
My Bloody Valentine, Bauhaus, Virgin Prunes, Soul Merchants