We’re pretty sure Brett Anderson isn’t dead yet (and he better not be by the time this goes to press - Ed), yet somehow Farris Badwan is channelling him like a particularly flamboyant poltergeist. It might sound mad; in fact it’s brilliant’ - ‘Monica Gems’ may well be The Horrors’ most immediate moment to date.
Reinventing themselves yet again with third album ‘Skying’, this time there’s more than a hint of the British revolution of the early 90s, mixed with the best records you own from the early eighties for good measure. Not the overblown arse end of Britpop, you understand, but that early spark of Suede and Blur passed through a spectrum of wondrous discord. That, and, as everyone will tell you, Simple Minds.
Being truthful, there’s little in the way of negative points to be found with ‘Skying’. Sure - it’s unlikely to be an album with such widespread appeal your Mum is praying someone covers ‘Endless Blue’ on X Factor, but that’s no bad thing. Each of the ten tracks is given room to breathe, with pacing judged perfectly. When something more immediate is required, it’s delivered, but there’s no fear of producing the odd epic as the eight minute plus runtime of ‘Moving Further Away’ goes to prove.
There’s enough here to make an album that will still garner attention in the long run. ‘I Can See Through You’ feels like The Horrors signature move in waiting, already standing out in early live sets. More accomplished than before, lead single ‘Still Life’ sums up The Horrors Mk III the best - a potential festival anthem without even the slightest hint of lad rock, pop punk or even a chorus, it seems the balance between immediacy and art may finally have been found.
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