In 2007 when The Horrors crossed the Atlantic attempting a smash along North American shores they were met with a great deal of spirited apprehension. While they possessed a strangely alluring presence and an earth-shaking baritone in Faris Badwan the tidal wave of hype they rode in could not eclipse the glaring detail that their debut record Strange House (2007) was kind of shitty. Fast forward two more years and the release of a bewilderingly excellent sophomore record in Primary Colours (2009) later The Horrors again make their trek across oceans riding another enormous surge of hysteria. Fittingly they once again blow away expectations with a self-produced and self-recorded wonderland of fractured Brit Pop that is as creepily seductive as it is instantly exciting. Skying is an eerily inviting collection of reverb drenched psychedelic rock continuing where Primary Colours left off.
What I mean by a continuation of Primary Colours is that Skying is a decidedly different album from their debut and initial EP following in the same Dream Pop footsteps as their sophomore release. Though whereas Colours inhabited this bleak industrial furnace Skying is an expansive tundra of a record. Though The Horrors seem to occupy a summer season in their wintry domain as Skying resonates an inviting warmth throughout.They display a commanding control over their world of wiry guitars, grandiose synthesizers, surf-pop vocal melodies and thundering bass. Skying’s guttural mix is nearly pitch perfect for the dramatic curves the album throws; these coincidentally the moments when the band sounds most at ease. “Still Life’s” anthemic hook, “You Said’s” initial transition from a wall of synths to a deep bass line and ethereal guitar riffs—escaping the gloomy nature their music once carried Skying instead invests in sheer bliss; a characteristic that suits the band perfectly.
Still adhering heavily to 90s Dream Pop The Horrors expand their palette from the harsher tones not to different from a Jesus and Mary Chain or Ride. Skying finds them adventuring into the softer side, adapting lazy build ups and languid guitars a la Slowdive and a more controlled dissonance akin to Catherine Wheel’s slick guitars. Reference points only as Skying really is an entity all its own. A pop record, though Pop like The Cure was making pop in the 80s: loud, dramatic, catchy but also kind of frightening. “Moving Further Away” and “Monica Gems” blaring away into a entrancing mess of synths, reverb, hair-trigger drumming and multi-tracked Badwan wails. “Endless Blue’s” emphatic transitions from laissez-faire, horn-laden pop to bombastic glam rock-- a few among the collection of moments where the band effortlessly moves between airy pop and guitar-driven rock. This playful nature keeps Skying suspenseful; this is edge of your seat music, sky-bound Rock n’ Roll with ten songs occupying a whopping fifty-four minutes that always seem to just fly by.
2. You Said
3. I Can See Through You
4. Endless Blue
5. Dive In
6. Still Life
7. Wild Eyed
8. Moving Further Away
9. Monica Gems
10. Oceans Burning
There are at least three bands called The Horrors:
1) An alternative rock band from Essex, England.
2) A garage rock/punk band from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
3) An American psychedelic rock band active in the 1960’s