tue 24/10/2017

CD: The Horrors - V | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Horrors - V

CD: The Horrors - V

Giving their darkness an extra production polish proves a good thing for Southend's finest

Cover art by special effects wizard Erik Ferguson

The Horrors have always had a penchant for churning out pop-tinged gems, and on V, with help from Adele/Coldplay/Florence and the Machine producer Paul Epworth, they’ve applied their same winning formula to darker music. The album cover, a mishmash of faces, sums up V perfectly – it nods to a huge range of influences, creating something that feels larger and more engaging than all of them on their own.

“Hologram” oozes in with monolithic drums and hazy synths, storming its way to the four-minute mark before offbeat eight-bit sparkles create a solo that’s as bemusing as it is enjoyable. We’re hearing a highly polished version of a band who’ve always sounded highly polished. Next track, “Press Exit To Enter Hell” and single “Weighed Down” showcase classic Horrors, boasting sunny vibes and wandering structure.

The weirder moments of the album are among the best. The muddy “Ghost” is arguably the most out-there moment on the album, as its croaking organ loop explodes into a colourful blend of Americana, post-rock, and glitch-pop. “Machine” has an industrial slant which gives its catchiness a sense of danger and unease, whilst “Gathering” slowly turns from bland indie-folk to something that wouldn’t sound particularly out of place on Bowie’s Blackstar. It’s perhaps the most hopeful song on the album, with the refrain, “There’s someone out there, seeing everything and who knows what you know”, coming across as comforting rather than cosmically creepy.

V is an ambitious album, coming in at just under 55 minutes; whilst many of the songs could easily have been shortened into more accessible pop hits, their commitment to slowly building each song might just be what makes The Horrors still so enigmatic five albums in.

Overleaf: Watch the video for "Machine" by The Horrors

The weirder moments of the album are among the best

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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