That sleeve. Let's not talk about it eh? The Horrors career has been a case study in not standing still and they describe this album as a 'risk'. It has been produced by Paul Epworth (Paul McCartney, Adele) so we can't imagine it being as experimental as the excellent 'Primary Colours'. Lead track 'Machine' sounds a promising coagulation of Depeche Mode, David Bowie and something very noisy.
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I can't take any credit for this but someone suggested on 6 music last week that the Horrors are having Depeche Mode's career in reverse. If V is anything to go by they are currently in 'Music For the Masses' territory. It features huge swathes of stadium ready sounds that pokes a stick towards Gary Numan's '80s excesses. They've already come up with the best song this year not to be written by Grizzly Bear in magnificent closer 'Something to Remember Me By' so if that's the final song what must the rest be like?
Well not as good is the answer but many of these songs have hooks so huge they are hard to ignore. 'Press Enter to Exit' features both the bassline from 'Dub Be Good to Me' and a chorus so catchy that if the Stone Roses had come up with it in 1990 then they'd have blown the roof off Spike Island. The Horrors have here - assisted by top producer Paul Epworth - made the kind of stadium-leaning indie that record companies have dreams about. It's both experimental and huge - rather like Depeche Mode in fact. 'Point of No Reply' is a mid paced rocker of the sort the Psychedelic Furs once traded in and herein lies what the point of all this is - to break America.
Like Wild Beasts before them the Horrors have headed down a path of streamlining their once brittle sound possibly for the benefits of our cousins overseas. They certainly do a good job of aping the sort of mid 80s dark music of the Cure and (I'll say it yet again) Depeche Mode. This is a magnificently produced slab of mega indie that could see them find a new fanbase of young worriers. The band Simple Minds could have been perhaps...as kraut and electronica rub up with the sheer force of stadium rock. It's a bold and generally ok album - with a handful of truly very good moments. Perhaps with another couple more tracks like 'Something to Remember Me By' they would have hit the jackpot.
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- V by The Horrors
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