The Horrors

V

Wolftone/Caroline

Sep 22, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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There are roughly three groups of people that are aware of The Horrors. First is the cult following that have been devoted to the charismatic group from its Ramones-esque beginnings. Second are the middle ground fans who peg their knowledge and liking of the group mainly around its critically acclaimed third album, Skying. Third is semi-skeptical crowd who thought The Horrors were gimmicky to begin with but have grown with the group as it has matured and become more realized.

For the latter, the Paul Epworth-produced V, would be a foreseeable next step for The Horrors. Steeped in '80s synth rock and New Wave of the best kind, think Tears for Fears, Gary Numan, The Human League, V is the most structured of The Horrors' five albums with defined pop outlines. It is The Horrors, however, so their version of pop is of the alt-pop variety executed very artfully and gothically. V is more electronics-driven than previous albums, and more minutely carved-as is pop genius Paul Epworth's wont, he is the producer behind Adele, Lorde, Foster the People, and Maroon 5 after all-but it still holds a touch of the rich darkness The Horrors do so well while being lush and brash at the same time.

V has varied moods. On "Press Enter to Exit" vocalist Faris Badwan's voice floats and soars against an album psychedelic backdrop and croons on the surprisingly sweet "Gathering." "World Below" is grand and bright, a real reach for The Horrors, who characteristically end it with a crashing guitar grind. Elsewhere, "Weighed Down" is both layered and constricted, its multiple dimensions and Badwan's ominous tone making it an oppressive listen, but one that's worth the burden. V ends on tender note with the quiet "It's a Good Life" and the playful "Something to Remember Me By."

V could very well be the album that pushes The Horrors to the next echelon, something the group has already accomplished in its native U.K. with its last two albums breaking the top 10 charts. This is an unrealistic expectation Stateside, but V certainly has the chops to propel them up a level or two in the American public's consciousness. (www.thehorrors.co.uk)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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