Review: The Horrors – Luminous
Published on May 20th, 2014 | Jonny Abrams
We can’t say we hadn’t seen Luminous coming – each new album by The Horrors has been the kind of ‘bold leap forward’ that music journos love to make bad cliché babies with, culminating in 2012’s dreamy, Earth-straddling monster of a third album Skying. This, unsurprisingly, is even better.
“Chasing Shadows” gets things underway with a build-up of feedback and creeping noise that, if you’re anything like Rocksucker, might have you thinking: “Who do The Horrors think they are? Primal Scream circa Vanishing Point?” This then resolves in whirring My Bloody Valentine guitar, propulsive ’80s drums and a right old dizzying mix of colours and textures before it all falls out for Faris Badwan’s imperious voice
The Horrors’ taste for obscure vintage psychedelia has manifested itself in an album that sounds at any point like shoegaze, Brian Wilson’s SMiLE magnus opus, Madchester, ’70s/’80s goth rock, jangle-pop, even Tame Impala’s second album Lonerism… – as you might glean from all of this, it’s trippy fare.
If anything, Luminous seems to get better and better as it progresses: “In and Out of Sight” is melodically twisted in a very fine way indeed, while the sighing, dippy, mid-’90s Flaming Lips lead guitar of “Jealous Sun” is let loose in the chorus of a track that sounds more like Nine Inch Nails, oddly enough. “In this world, you take what you want” indeed.
“I See You” is perhaps the pick of bunch, instantly anthemic yet dazzlingly otherworldly like something off the last Candy Claws LP, shooting out sparkly lights and rays of purple as it gradually engulfs you.
This is rivalled however by the closing pair of “Mine and Yours”, exquisite stuff that is, and the sleepily stomping “Sleepwalk”. The Horrors have hit peak luminosity and should be taken rather more seriously now than when they first arrived on the scene, if indeed they belong to any one.
Luminous is out now on XL Recordings.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!