Album Review: The Horrors – V

By on Monday, 20th November 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

The Horrors V album coverTen years have passed since The Horrors first appeared like gothic misers of their own indie-dom. When you really process this it’s incredible to witness how far they’ve actually come. No band has quite relished in the idea of evolution more than The Horrors.

Take, for instance, opener ‘Hologram’, which introduces the album with pulsating and swirling beats. The futuristic feel that you’ll find completely sweeps over the album is soon joined, in this instance, by jangled guitars, processed far from their natural sound. Frontman Faris Badwan soon joins in the party, with some seemingly heaven-sent vocals that truly embody the choruses repeated call of “are we holograms?” It’s a bright opener that wanders its warming way into seducing you for the rest of the album, particularly aided by the screeching and twinkling solo toward the outro, an aspect that repeats throughout.

Following on, the droning piano that first teases in ‘Press Enter to Exit’ reveals nothing that the actual track contains. Once the first four bars have their say, it breaks into a far more groove-filled romp that carries you with its sway up. Until the chorus, which feels like a contained explosion into a new pop-tastic level. Once again, the bridge breaks down into a far more intelligible chaos that falls away, letting the silence build until exploding once more into a soaring solo.

Earlier single ‘Machine’ greets us with an electronic drum pattern that runs rings around the sonic atmosphere. You can try and comprehend what’s going on but will ultimately fail. There’s an edge to the psychedelic sounds, one that brings a foreboding element that feels live one is being preyed upon. Filled with juddering sounds that oppose the melodic elements, it calls to mind a mechanical beast failing catastrophically. On a similar end of the scale, ‘Ghost’ goes for a more simplistic approach to the mechanical sounds. A slow tempo drum beat brings in Badwan’s singing, while distorted and flickering sounds eventually morph into a guitar line which completes its evolution from sparse wander into full-bodied orchestration.

The eruption of sounds and noise at just over halfway feels apt. It’s as if the album had to be building to something and this is what the first half will always be: an eruption of sparkling sounds that both dazzle and confuse. From here, both ‘Point of No Reply’ and ‘Weighed Down’ break away from the metallic sounds. Instead, the Horrors go in a far more delicately melodic one that relies upon Badwan’s vocals to offset the beautifully sweet electronica elements. ‘Point of No Reply’ eventually leaves as peacefully as it came.

‘Gathering’ is perhaps the most natural sounding The Horrors get on this outing. Acoustic guitar and natural drums, with the occasional psychedelic slide, leaves a much more digestible sound. That is, until ‘World Below’. Kicking things back into a higher gear with a distorted array of crunching guitars and electronica, it’s the beginning of both the final stretch and some of the strongest cuts on the album. The other two that make up this final third flow perfectly. ‘It’s a Good Life’ reverts back to the slow and emotive approach. This builds towards the finale of ‘Something to Remember Me By’, a track that completely lets loose and breaks into dance territory.

The fifth outing from Horrors mostly cements them as creators of their own future. They don’t relish being in the past. In fact, they stray as far away from their previous sounds as possible. No, the Horrors are are here to keep creating and evolving which, in all honesty, makes them one of the more exciting bands currently active.

9/10

‘V’. The Horrors’ fifth album, is out now on Wolf Tone / Caroline International. Our past articles here in TGTF are through this link.

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