Thursday, July 7, 2011
Album Review: The Horrors - Skying
This is the third album for English rock band The Horrors, this band that started with a punk/garage rock album in Strange House which was great. After this they made the album Primary Colours which involved more synth/electronics and a much more psychedelic sound. With a big shift from album one to two, the third album was essentially "what next?" for fans of the band and again this band have changed it up.
I've been listening to this new album for a couple of days, I didn't want to review it straight away because I wanted to get used to the change in sound that comes with this band. After listening to Primary Colours the first couple of times I was disappointed because they moved away from the sound that introduced me to the band and it took me a while to get used to everything about it. Now with Skying I've gotten through it a few times and come to a few conclusions about the album.
One thing is for sure is they've once again changed their sound, once again it works incredibly well. I've always found The Horrors as a band that love old garage rock or even old music in general and when they make their album they take the retro ideas and sounds and put a modern twist on it all. We had a track released early for this was Still Life, a great choice for sure as this to me is close to the best song on the album. This track mixes all the sounds on the album perfectly and Faris' voice in his almost monotone manner works so well.
One of the main differences I've found on this album is how much in front the synth sound is, it leads the opener and takes a leading role in the album. Faris' side project Cats Eyes seems to have some sort of influence on the track You Said, not necessarily in the sound, but in the vocals and the way he sings in this one. There's a small amount of brit pop influence on this album also, the track Dive In definitely reminds me of the Manchester scene a little, maybe some Charlatans/Happy Mondays listening perhaps?
After early listens I felt the first half was a little slow, now I completely disagree with that idea and think the band was more experimental in the songs and tapping into a lot of different areas, before settling towards the back end of the album.While Still Life for me is the ultimate highlight for me, after this track the album kicks into gear and tracks like Wild Eyed with the incorporation of a kick ass trumpet solo and Monica Gems which allows the guitarist Joshua Hayward to break the shackles and actually play a bit heavier harking back to Strange House times with the distortion and loudness allowed. Album ends slow with Oceans Burning, Faris' showing his versatile voice changing it completely up with such sweet, soft vocals that compliment the song as it sways along with the fading of the album ending.
Overall this is a great album, one of the best so far this year, there isn't a bad song on this thing and if there's a criticism its that it takes more than a couple of listened to get used to the album. The first half could be seen as a bit boring but after getting through it a few times found it incredibly interesting and experimental. Definitely another step in the right direction by The Horrors and again I'm wondering what might the band do next.
Overall Rating: 9/10