Album Review: V // The Horrors

Although British indie band The Horrors are likely best known for their atmospheric summer singles ‘Still Life’ and ‘Sea Within A Sea’ from way back in 2011, it’s hard to believe that they’ve been around long enough to be releasing their fifth studio album, aptly titled V, this week via Caroline Records. Generally famed for their downbeat, thoughtful sounding back catalogue, the boys present fans with something a bit different in terms of their latest musical offering, which is accompanied by an interesting, yet disturbing, choice of cover artwork.

A complex amalgamation of dark, seemingly eighties inspired tunes, and a scattering of lighter, more rustic feeling tracks, the album portrays a spectrum of styles and emotions which is both intriguing and confusing at the same time. Opening tune ‘Hologram’ sets the album’s tone with futuristic, crackly synth reminiscent of space missions and science, a theme which is continued by former single ‘Machine”s whirring mechanical sound effects and sporadic drum noises.

‘Press Enter To Exit’ also exudes a technological vibe with loud, brash chorus guitar, its calm opening gradually building into some clever instrumental layering that is not dissimilar in style to that of early Foster The People. Furthermore, the eerie, melodic synth of ‘Weighed Down’ creates an uneasy tone when coupled with an array of distorted guitar riffs, and amidst the confusion, it becomes unclear which sounds are made by man and which by machine.

However, the gentle acoustic tones of ‘Gathering’ radically contrast that of the rest of the album. With lyrics harking back to the days of hunter-gatherers and a more simplistic life, the song is the most organic sounding on the record, and its folky-acoustic intro provides a brief relief from the heavily technological overtones of other tracks.  Finally, the album reaches its pinnacle with most recent single ‘Something To Remember Me By’, an eighties inspired, upbeat synth track that sounds as if it may have been influenced by legendary pop band, The Human League. Despite the largely futuristic tone of The Horror’s new album, it’s evident that they haven’t lost the traditional quirkiness which made fans fall so hard for them in the first place.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Horrors fifth album, V, is out this Friday, September 22nd via Caroline International. It is available to pre-order now. The Horrors also set out on a UK tour next month, you can win tickets to their upcoming shows now on RIOT, to enter head over here.

Author avatar
Kate Eldridge

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