From Horrifically Good to Extragalactic

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The Horrors | Luminous |

From Tim Burton bad boys that were yelling and screaming to gentle and glistening cooing The Horrors have probably done it all, and we love them for it. Notable experimentation can only work in any band’s favor. It shows a range of talent that definitely impresses and that’s exactly what The Horrors have done.  They debuted as an overly edgy gothic punk rock band that had these intense sounds in Strange House. It was honestly terrifying for me but it grew on me for some reason. The same goes for Tim Burton I have to say, it was dark, twisted and maybe awry at times but some sort of element was still reeling me in.

The Horrors progressed on to more albums like Primary Colours and Skying. They did seem to be taming their sound to be more digestible with Badwan no longer straining his vocals in Primary Colours. Nonetheless, their grit still surfaces reminding us of their gothic punk roots. Such as one of my personal favourite Primary Colours track, Who Can Say, has a kind of livid guitars and drumbeats that could last forever. Badwan’s vocals somehow manages to slip its way through the intensity of it all and be both genuine and yet unattached simultaneously, especially when he adds some unsettling dialogue about leaving a girl behind and not really giving a damn. I’m getting ahead of myself but you do see the evolvement of the band. This development of a softer sound kind of stuck with Skying and even after that. Which is where Luminous, The Horrors latest piece of work comes in.

The album aptly named with tracks that are astral. It gives you this illusion of being featherweight and passing by celestial landmarks. Chasing Shadows opens the album opportunely. There’s a glinting quality to it but its fast pace keeps it dynamic. First Day of Spring excites more so than the previous track. The track jitters magically alongside Badwan’s expressively drawn out vocals. So Now You Know is as if it’s a continuation of the unprecedented Still Life, relatively delicate and entrancing. This track is the more prominent of the album and is clear as to why it was The Horror’s chosen single. The track puts you at ease but delivers those punches when needed.

In and Out of Sight and Jealous Sun reminisces their previous horrific ways, sort of. In and Out of Sight still possess the luminous characteristic of the cosmic universe but with an edge. The track is unsettling by the end, like there is a cause for concern. That unrest feeling lingers on in Jealous Sun with moaning guitars, but Badwan’s composed vocals manages to take the edge off a little in the chorus. Even so, the track leaves you uncertain of possible vulnerability. Despite the title, Falling Star curiously takes a much more sprightly direction which could be its unfortunate downfall. The unorthodox and fidgety introduction was unique in its own way but it all became a bit off when the twinkle sets in. Even Badwan doesn’t seem fully comfortable during Falling Star. The epic ending that they were hoping for here regrettably, did not prevail.

I See You seems to be more of the band’s pace; it’s stirring and exciting and did produce that incredible ending that they were aiming for the entire time. Change Your Mind a mushy track about romance that starts out slightly dull but does compensate by showing more spirit in the later half. Mine and Yours, a favourite of mine is almost a like a passionate love ballad from the 80s. Badwan swoons along with elongated guitar twangs and impressive drum build-up that just give this track depth and actual meaning. Sleepwalk however is an offbeat track in the out-of-this-world album, sadly. The track was too concentrated on the bizarre and whimsical.

Despite the unsatisfactory close The Horrors managed to dazzle with their fourth LP Luminous. It is honestly almost like a venture outside of this planet that is extragalactic.

7/10

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