13 Songs, 1 Hour, 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Horrors pretty much exemplify the evolution of goth in the new millennium. Though the goth tag may retain its grip due only to Faris Badwan’s evocative voice — which actually sounds like a cave, if caves could sing — it’s hard to imagine the band’s ancestral influences (the Cramps, Joy Division, Birthday Party, etc.) fading away completely. Toning down the noisier, punkier elements of their debut Strange House, Primary Colours is a surprisingly ... lovely record: “I Only Think of You” has the gravitas of Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields) at his most melancholy; the Krautrock-kissed “Sea Within a Sea” is atmospheric and lulling; the shoegaze storm underlying “Mirror’s Image” and the Joe Meek influenced “Who Can Say” is warmly familiar and hypnotic. The lush orchestration and Badwan’s vocals on “Three Decades” recalls the Psychedelic Furs, while “New Ice Age” feels like a PiL/Sonic Youth mash-up. These Brit boys boldly embrace the past — all the while writing good songs, an important point here — and their future looks bright.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Horrors pretty much exemplify the evolution of goth in the new millennium. Though the goth tag may retain its grip due only to Faris Badwan’s evocative voice — which actually sounds like a cave, if caves could sing — it’s hard to imagine the band’s ancestral influences (the Cramps, Joy Division, Birthday Party, etc.) fading away completely. Toning down the noisier, punkier elements of their debut Strange House, Primary Colours is a surprisingly ... lovely record: “I Only Think of You” has the gravitas of Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields) at his most melancholy; the Krautrock-kissed “Sea Within a Sea” is atmospheric and lulling; the shoegaze storm underlying “Mirror’s Image” and the Joe Meek influenced “Who Can Say” is warmly familiar and hypnotic. The lush orchestration and Badwan’s vocals on “Three Decades” recalls the Psychedelic Furs, while “New Ice Age” feels like a PiL/Sonic Youth mash-up. These Brit boys boldly embrace the past — all the while writing good songs, an important point here — and their future looks bright.

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About The Horrors

Beginning as a big-haired, black-clad garage punk outfit and soon morphing into something more experimental, the Horrors featured singer Faris Badwan, bassist Tom Furse, guitarist Joshua Hayward, drummer Joe Spurgeon, and keyboardist Rhys Webb. The Horrors formed in the summer of 2005 and quickly gained notoriety around London for their look, sound, and brief but frantic live shows. Loog soon signed them, and the Horrors released their official debut single, "Sheena Is a Parasite/Jack the Ripper," in spring 2006.

That summer the Horrors released their second single, Death at the Chapel. They also reissued "Sheena Is a Parasite" as a limited-edition DVD single. The song's startling video was directed by Chris Cunningham and featured actress Samantha Morton as Sheena. Late that summer, the band signed to Stolen Transmission in the U.S. and released a self-titled EP that fall. They also issued the Count in Fives single in the U.K. around that time.

The Gloves single arrived early in 2007, heralding the release of the Horrors' full-length debut, Strange House, which arrived in the U.K. that March and in the U.S. in May. In 2008, Webb and Furse formed the analog synth project Spider & the Flies, and released the album Something Clockwork This Way Comes. For 2009's Primary Colours, the band worked with Cunningham and Portishead's Geoff Barrow as co-producers, opting for a very different sound that mixed shoegaze, post-punk, and goth; the album was released by XL that spring and earned several critical raves, including NME's Album of the Year. In between albums, Badwan teamed with Canadian opera singer Rachel Zeffira for the hazy pop project Cat's Eyes, which released its self-titled debut in early 2011. The Horrors self-produced their follow-up, 2011's Skying, which featured a lighter yet still atmospheric sound that drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and the Psychedelic Furs. In 2012, they released the remix companion album Higher and embarked on an extensive tour. In 2013, they began recording new material with producer Craig Silvey. Early the following year, the single "I See You" reflected the more expansive direction of their fourth album, Luminous, which arrived in May 2014. The Horrors began work on their next full-length with Paul Epworth at London's Church Studios in 2015, and forged a darker, rawer yet still danceable sound that borrowed from '80s post-punk, synth-pop, and '90s dance. The result was V, which arrived in September 2017. Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    Southend-on-Sea, England
  • FORMED
    2005

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