The Horrors – Primary Colours
Record Label: XL Recordings
Release Date: May 4, 2009
Propelled by the enormous hype wagon that is the NME, Southend natives The Horrors released their debut, Strange House, with high expectations. Their clumsy brand of garage rock raised them to new heights in the British music scene. While critics and music fans alike snubbed them because of their huge following, Strange House did little to correct the belief of many that they were a momentary blip on the musical horizon, a hype that would remain the pinnacle of the band’s career. Thankfully, those people will have to eat their words come May 4th, for the release of their sophomore album, Primary Colours.
Putting their days of being heckled and attacked by more indie orientated fans behind them, The Horrors have evolved into an entirely new machine; Strange House part 2 this is not. The Vox Continental organ, which was so predominant in all of their previous work, is relatively gone now, in place of some much better placed bass playing. While singer Faris Badwan’s vocals remain a constant presence in all of the songs, the notable lack of yelling occurs here, showing how much more effective his voice can be. Opening with the dizzy rhythmic tones of “Mirror’s Image,” it is clear that this album is going to be superior to Strange House in almost every capacity.
While most tracks average around three or four minutes, the two seven minute long tracks, at number seven and ten respectively, do nothing to slow down the pace of the record. Lead single “Sea Within a Sea,” clocking in at one second shy of eight minutes, begins with steady drumming and psychedelic noises coming in and out of the music, weaving effortlessly, giving Badwan’s vocals a dreamlike quality. At around three minutes, the pace picks up until the song is seemingly replaced with frantic drumming, as a segue to the second ‘part’ of the song. A more upbeat, catchy electronic beat replaces the haunting melodies, making it an excellent closer for the album.
The incredibly catchy “Do You Remember” and the fuzzy refrain of “I Can’t Control Myself” ensure that there is never a dull moment on Primary Colours. The additional influence of Geoff Barrow of Portishead at the helm as producer could be attributed to making this record come together so beautifully, but essentially, The Horrors have just made a fantastic second album. While they were previously lauded with buzz words and praise their album didn’t live up to, this new-found maturity and development in songwriting leave them a force to be reckoned with in the British, if not the global, music scene. With the ending lines of the album, “so you might say / the path we share is / one of danger / and of fear / until the end,” you can’t help but think that The Horrors are in for a very big year.
Bands who coat tail off the chore of a person that is peaches geldof are now credible? I love MBV and i like some of the music i've heard off this album but i thought they were meant to be good lyricists? That spoken word part on their new single is a bit silly (then again I love the one on the new enter shikari song which is getting mixed responses). At least it's something, I wasn't really expecting anything I just thought some of their old songs were ok but by the way people are talking about this are is if it's life changing. 6/10 for me.