Album of the Week: The Horrors

V Out Now via Wolftone/Caroline

Sep 22, 2017
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The Horrors released their fifth album, the fittingly titled V, today via Wolftone/Caroline. Usually for our Album of the Week posts we have an especially written detailed write up of why the album is the week's best, but these week various factors prevented us from pulling that off. Still, we wanted to acknowledge V as our favorite album of the week in a more casual post.

The Horrors are one of the rare bands that meld consistency with ambition, with each album striving for something more, while also matching the heights of their previous work. While many wrote off their goth-garage 2007 debut album (Strange House) as the product of another new band over-hyped by a British music press hungry for new artists to chew up and spit out, 2009's follow-up Primary Colours was something of a quantum leap in sound and they've continued to grow from there. 2011's Skying produced arguably the band's best-known song, festival sing-a-long "Still Life," and landed them on one of three covers we did for our Best of 2011 Issue (alongside M83 and Bon Iver). 2014's Luminous continued that winning streak and now V is being embraced by some critics as their most consistent album front to back yet, while also exploring new, dancier territory for the band. "Press Enter to Exit," for example, almost sounds like something from Primal Scream's 1991 classic Screamadelica and euphoric album closer "Something to Remember Me By" would sit nicely next to a Cut Copy track on a playlist.

Read our rave 8.5/10 review of V to get a more in-depth opinion on the album.

Previously The Horrors' shared V's first single "Machine," as well as a video for "Machine," which was followed by the album's expansive six-minute long closing track, "Something to Remember Me By" (which had euphoric electronic overtones and was our #1 Song of the Week), as well as the almost as expansive (it's also over six minutes long), but not as dance-y "Weighed Down" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week). Paul Epworth (London Grammar, Florence and the Machine, Bloc Party, Adele) produced V at the Church Studios, in North London.

A previous press release promised that the album is diverse and that the band refuses "to stand still." As lead singer Faris Badwan put it in the press release: "It is a risk. But life isn't much fun without risk. It's the antithesis of being creative if you know what you're going to be doing every time."

Keyboardist Tom Furse added in the press release: "It's natural, if you do see yourself as an artist, to progress and not play it safe. Bowie pre-empted the modern condition of not being able to stay in one place for very long, and I get frustrated with bands who stay still. Because then it does become a career."

Bassist Rhys Webb also had this to say: "When we started, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do, which was to make as furious a noise as possible, a fast and violent racket. But even though we started with this punky garage sound there was always this real spirit of wanting to experiment and explore."

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

The Blow: Brand New Abyss (Self-Released)

Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans)

The Clientele: Music For the Age of Miracles (Merge)

Cut Copy: Haiku From Zero (Astralwerks)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Luciferian Towers (Constellation)

Hiss Golden Messenger: Hallelujah Anyway (Merge)

Jaws of Love.: Tasha Sits Close to the Piano (House Arrest)

Luna: A Sentimental Education and A Place of Greater Safety EP (Double Feature)

Moses Sumney: Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar)

Shout Out Louds: Ease My Mind (Merge)

Tricky: ununiform (False Idols/!K7)

Chelsea Wolfe: Hiss Spun (Sargent House)

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