THE HORRORSSKYINGORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #39Across three releases, The Horrors have taken their sound in some pretty bold and exciting new directions. The fact of the matter remains that there just aren’t many bands doing this anymore, least of all British ones. True, Arctic Monkeys have pushed their sound into places at once unthinkable, yet even Suck It And See felt somewhat like a side-step as opposed to an assured move forward. I can no longer mention Coldplay without sighing and the less said about Keane and Snow Patrol the better. So, The Horrors represent everything that is current and relevant about British guitar bands in a world where their relevance feels disappointingly unimportant. They have achieved this through a chameleon-like way of subtle reinvention. Debut album Strange House was a screaming garage, goth-punk shocker, arriving on the back of a much-lauded EP and a cover feature by NME even before they’d released a first single. If the hype seemed particularly unjustified so early on, there was consequently no denying the hoopla surrounding the group’s sophomore follow-up, Primary Colours. This was their true game-changer and signalled a massive leap forward by incorporating a storming blend of shoegaze and krautrock. The result was one of 2009s most universally acclaimed records, produced in part by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and earnt them a much-deserved Mercury Music Prize nomination.Skying is the follow-up to that game-changer, and it’s the kind of brilliant third record that quite easily equals that which came before it, yet somehow manages to fall short of the public’s often ridiculous sky high expectations. Whether The Horrors’ exploration of new sounds is a forced effort to prevent festering (as so many other bands have done) or merely a casual maturation of their previous outings, Skying is an undeniable success, an alarmingly mature effort that one feels was recorded and produced with the kind of flippancy that affords all great bands once they finally tap the creative wellspring of group dynamics and band interplay. This time around their approach is centered heavily on 80s new wave with touches of My Bloody Valentine distortion and a pinch of Echo & The Bunnymen. As a contemporary indie-rock outfit they are very much rooted in “retrospect,” a band whose sound exists as a product of styles that came way before it. Skying continues the trend that raised itself particularly stentorian on Primary Colours and launches it upward with such movement and vibrancy that their cheeky aping becomes their strong suit as opposed to a major detractor. Frontman Faris Badwan injects these songs with a vocal restraint that undercuts their muscular instrumental sections and a strong likeness to Ian Curtis and David Bowie. It’s to his credit that he has matured vocally, filling these songs with a poker-faced cool that beguiles and complements the ambitious guitar work which forms the backbone of Skying’s cinemascope vision.Skying essentially registers as a pop record, as lazy or insulting an interpretation as that may be. There’s plenty of melody and catchy harmonies here, and virtually every song bestows a soundscape that feels part of a greater, more cohesive whole. I Can See Through You trades soaring guitar solos off disco synths, contrasting dance floor virtuosity with heaver, more abstract tones. Endless Blue opens with horns and a shimmering tranquility that precedes all the brilliant, faded colour of the record cover. It rises and falls as though it were navigating an ocean, soaring towards the light before plummeting into a thrashing guitar section that has become a key moment in the band’s live show. First single and album centerpiece Still Life recalls Simple Minds in more than just its vocals and backwashed synths, and guitarist Joshua Heyward has evidently based his style on Kevin Shields (who else would you, though, really?) to a degree that electrifies every song with a bucolic spirit. The vocal distortion applied to Badwan on Dive In bolsters the record’s considered theme of water, and that feeling of submergence is utilised as a means to disorientate and ultimately shake up the listener. One would do well to listen to the aforementioned tracks on headphones. Aural bliss awaits. What’s perhaps most intrinsic to Skying’s sonic landscape is its breathtaking panorama. It offers spectacular views that just don’t come around too often. The introduction to Wild Eyed feels like an enchoaching sunrise over ocean waters; one can practically hear the space between the drums and synths as this unlimited expanse bounces off Badwan’s vocals, switching to triumphant horns as it closes. Then there are the hypnotic undulations of Moving Further Away, the record’s longest piece that opens with synth-pop keys before building over eight and a half minutes of guitar fuzz and distortion. It scans as unstoppable the more it gathers steam and attests to Skying’s feeling of constant movement and fluidity. That feeling comes from the knowledge that The Horrors have transformed themselves into a young band so in sync with each other that the results are always arresting, never boring, always exciting and concerned with form as much as function. It’s almost worrying how realised their aesthetic has become, from virtually lacking an identity (as much as they tried) with Strange House and through the pioneering appropriation of Primary Colours to this melting pot of ideas on Skying. The importance of this record regarding the band’s ensured success should not be underestimated: Skying was make-or-break time. An uncalculated flop would’ve likely resigned them to the bargain bins and Primary Colours would be remembered fondly as a mere fluke, yet Skying is proof that they will remain a force to be reckoned with. It’s worth jumping on board if you haven’t already. More than anything, Skying is a statement: The Horrors aren’t going anywhere.

THE HORRORS
SKYING

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 2011

1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #39


Across three releases, The Horrors have taken their sound in some pretty bold and exciting new directions. The fact of the matter remains that there just aren’t many bands doing this anymore, least of all British ones. True, Arctic Monkeys have pushed their sound into places at once unthinkable, yet even Suck It And See felt somewhat like a side-step as opposed to an assured move forward. I can no longer mention Coldplay without sighing and the less said about Keane and Snow Patrol the better. So, The Horrors represent everything that is current and relevant about British guitar bands in a world where their relevance feels disappointingly unimportant. They have achieved this through a chameleon-like way of subtle reinvention. Debut album Strange House was a screaming garage, goth-punk shocker, arriving on the back of a much-lauded EP and a cover feature by NME even before they’d released a first single. If the hype seemed particularly unjustified so early on, there was consequently no denying the hoopla surrounding the group’s sophomore follow-up, Primary Colours. This was their true game-changer and signalled a massive leap forward by incorporating a storming blend of shoegaze and krautrock. The result was one of 2009s most universally acclaimed records, produced in part by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and earnt them a much-deserved Mercury Music Prize nomination.


Skying is the follow-up to that game-changer, and it’s the kind of brilliant third record that quite easily equals that which came before it, yet somehow manages to fall short of the public’s often ridiculous sky high expectations. Whether The Horrors’ exploration of new sounds is a forced effort to prevent festering (as so many other bands have done) or merely a casual maturation of their previous outings, Skying is an undeniable success, an alarmingly mature effort that one feels was recorded and produced with the kind of flippancy that affords all great bands once they finally tap the creative wellspring of group dynamics and band interplay. This time around their approach is centered heavily on 80s new wave with touches of My Bloody Valentine distortion and a pinch of Echo & The Bunnymen. As a contemporary indie-rock outfit they are very much rooted in “retrospect,” a band whose sound exists as a product of styles that came way before it. Skying continues the trend that raised itself particularly stentorian on Primary Colours and launches it upward with such movement and vibrancy that their cheeky aping becomes their strong suit as opposed to a major detractor. Frontman Faris Badwan injects these songs with a vocal restraint that undercuts their muscular instrumental sections and a strong likeness to Ian Curtis and David Bowie. It’s to his credit that he has matured vocally, filling these songs with a poker-faced cool that beguiles and complements the ambitious guitar work which forms the backbone of Skying’s cinemascope vision.


Skying essentially registers as a pop record, as lazy or insulting an interpretation as that may be. There’s plenty of melody and catchy harmonies here, and virtually every song bestows a soundscape that feels part of a greater, more cohesive whole. I Can See Through You trades soaring guitar solos off disco synths, contrasting dance floor virtuosity with heaver, more abstract tones. Endless Blue opens with horns and a shimmering tranquility that precedes all the brilliant, faded colour of the record cover. It rises and falls as though it were navigating an ocean, soaring towards the light before plummeting into a thrashing guitar section that has become a key moment in the band’s live show. First single and album centerpiece Still Life recalls Simple Minds in more than just its vocals and backwashed synths, and guitarist Joshua Heyward has evidently based his style on Kevin Shields (who else would you, though, really?) to a degree that electrifies every song with a bucolic spirit. The vocal distortion applied to Badwan on Dive In bolsters the record’s considered theme of water, and that feeling of submergence is utilised as a means to disorientate and ultimately shake up the listener. One would do well to listen to the aforementioned tracks on headphones. Aural bliss awaits. 


What’s perhaps most intrinsic to Skying’s sonic landscape is its breathtaking panorama. It offers spectacular views that just don’t come around too often. The introduction to Wild Eyed feels like an enchoaching sunrise over ocean waters; one can practically hear the space between the drums and synths as this unlimited expanse bounces off Badwan’s vocals, switching to triumphant horns as it closes. Then there are the hypnotic undulations of Moving Further Away, the record’s longest piece that opens with synth-pop keys before building over eight and a half minutes of guitar fuzz and distortion. It scans as unstoppable the more it gathers steam and attests to Skying’s feeling of constant movement and fluidity. That feeling comes from the knowledge that The Horrors have transformed themselves into a young band so in sync with each other that the results are always arresting, never boring, always exciting and concerned with form as much as function. It’s almost worrying how realised their aesthetic has become, from virtually lacking an identity (as much as they tried) with Strange House and through the pioneering appropriation of Primary Colours to this melting pot of ideas on Skying. The importance of this record regarding the band’s ensured success should not be underestimated: Skying was make-or-break time. An uncalculated flop would’ve likely resigned them to the bargain bins and Primary Colours would be remembered fondly as a mere fluke, yet Skying is proof that they will remain a force to be reckoned with. It’s worth jumping on board if you haven’t already. More than anything, Skying is a statement: The Horrors aren’t going anywhere.

THE HORRORSSKYINGORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #39Across three releases, The Horrors have taken their sound in some pretty bold and exciting new directions. The fact of the matter remains that there just aren’t many bands doing this anymore, least of all British ones. True, Arctic Monkeys have pushed their sound into places at once unthinkable, yet even Suck It And See felt somewhat like a side-step as opposed to an assured move forward. I can no longer mention Coldplay without sighing and the less said about Keane and Snow Patrol the better. So, The Horrors represent everything that is current and relevant about British guitar bands in a world where their relevance feels disappointingly unimportant. They have achieved this through a chameleon-like way of subtle reinvention. Debut album Strange House was a screaming garage, goth-punk shocker, arriving on the back of a much-lauded EP and a cover feature by NME even before they’d released a first single. If the hype seemed particularly unjustified so early on, there was consequently no denying the hoopla surrounding the group’s sophomore follow-up, Primary Colours. This was their true game-changer and signalled a massive leap forward by incorporating a storming blend of shoegaze and krautrock. The result was one of 2009s most universally acclaimed records, produced in part by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and earnt them a much-deserved Mercury Music Prize nomination.Skying is the follow-up to that game-changer, and it’s the kind of brilliant third record that quite easily equals that which came before it, yet somehow manages to fall short of the public’s often ridiculous sky high expectations. Whether The Horrors’ exploration of new sounds is a forced effort to prevent festering (as so many other bands have done) or merely a casual maturation of their previous outings, Skying is an undeniable success, an alarmingly mature effort that one feels was recorded and produced with the kind of flippancy that affords all great bands once they finally tap the creative wellspring of group dynamics and band interplay. This time around their approach is centered heavily on 80s new wave with touches of My Bloody Valentine distortion and a pinch of Echo & The Bunnymen. As a contemporary indie-rock outfit they are very much rooted in “retrospect,” a band whose sound exists as a product of styles that came way before it. Skying continues the trend that raised itself particularly stentorian on Primary Colours and launches it upward with such movement and vibrancy that their cheeky aping becomes their strong suit as opposed to a major detractor. Frontman Faris Badwan injects these songs with a vocal restraint that undercuts their muscular instrumental sections and a strong likeness to Ian Curtis and David Bowie. It’s to his credit that he has matured vocally, filling these songs with a poker-faced cool that beguiles and complements the ambitious guitar work which forms the backbone of Skying’s cinemascope vision.Skying essentially registers as a pop record, as lazy or insulting an interpretation as that may be. There’s plenty of melody and catchy harmonies here, and virtually every song bestows a soundscape that feels part of a greater, more cohesive whole. I Can See Through You trades soaring guitar solos off disco synths, contrasting dance floor virtuosity with heaver, more abstract tones. Endless Blue opens with horns and a shimmering tranquility that precedes all the brilliant, faded colour of the record cover. It rises and falls as though it were navigating an ocean, soaring towards the light before plummeting into a thrashing guitar section that has become a key moment in the band’s live show. First single and album centerpiece Still Life recalls Simple Minds in more than just its vocals and backwashed synths, and guitarist Joshua Heyward has evidently based his style on Kevin Shields (who else would you, though, really?) to a degree that electrifies every song with a bucolic spirit. The vocal distortion applied to Badwan on Dive In bolsters the record’s considered theme of water, and that feeling of submergence is utilised as a means to disorientate and ultimately shake up the listener. One would do well to listen to the aforementioned tracks on headphones. Aural bliss awaits. What’s perhaps most intrinsic to Skying’s sonic landscape is its breathtaking panorama. It offers spectacular views that just don’t come around too often. The introduction to Wild Eyed feels like an enchoaching sunrise over ocean waters; one can practically hear the space between the drums and synths as this unlimited expanse bounces off Badwan’s vocals, switching to triumphant horns as it closes. Then there are the hypnotic undulations of Moving Further Away, the record’s longest piece that opens with synth-pop keys before building over eight and a half minutes of guitar fuzz and distortion. It scans as unstoppable the more it gathers steam and attests to Skying’s feeling of constant movement and fluidity. That feeling comes from the knowledge that The Horrors have transformed themselves into a young band so in sync with each other that the results are always arresting, never boring, always exciting and concerned with form as much as function. It’s almost worrying how realised their aesthetic has become, from virtually lacking an identity (as much as they tried) with Strange House and through the pioneering appropriation of Primary Colours to this melting pot of ideas on Skying. The importance of this record regarding the band’s ensured success should not be underestimated: Skying was make-or-break time. An uncalculated flop would’ve likely resigned them to the bargain bins and Primary Colours would be remembered fondly as a mere fluke, yet Skying is proof that they will remain a force to be reckoned with. It’s worth jumping on board if you haven’t already. More than anything, Skying is a statement: The Horrors aren’t going anywhere.

THE HORRORS
SKYING

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 2011

1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #39


Across three releases, The Horrors have taken their sound in some pretty bold and exciting new directions. The fact of the matter remains that there just aren’t many bands doing this anymore, least of all British ones. True, Arctic Monkeys have pushed their sound into places at once unthinkable, yet even Suck It And See felt somewhat like a side-step as opposed to an assured move forward. I can no longer mention Coldplay without sighing and the less said about Keane and Snow Patrol the better. So, The Horrors represent everything that is current and relevant about British guitar bands in a world where their relevance feels disappointingly unimportant. They have achieved this through a chameleon-like way of subtle reinvention. Debut album Strange House was a screaming garage, goth-punk shocker, arriving on the back of a much-lauded EP and a cover feature by NME even before they’d released a first single. If the hype seemed particularly unjustified so early on, there was consequently no denying the hoopla surrounding the group’s sophomore follow-up, Primary Colours. This was their true game-changer and signalled a massive leap forward by incorporating a storming blend of shoegaze and krautrock. The result was one of 2009s most universally acclaimed records, produced in part by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and earnt them a much-deserved Mercury Music Prize nomination.


Skying is the follow-up to that game-changer, and it’s the kind of brilliant third record that quite easily equals that which came before it, yet somehow manages to fall short of the public’s often ridiculous sky high expectations. Whether The Horrors’ exploration of new sounds is a forced effort to prevent festering (as so many other bands have done) or merely a casual maturation of their previous outings, Skying is an undeniable success, an alarmingly mature effort that one feels was recorded and produced with the kind of flippancy that affords all great bands once they finally tap the creative wellspring of group dynamics and band interplay. This time around their approach is centered heavily on 80s new wave with touches of My Bloody Valentine distortion and a pinch of Echo & The Bunnymen. As a contemporary indie-rock outfit they are very much rooted in “retrospect,” a band whose sound exists as a product of styles that came way before it. Skying continues the trend that raised itself particularly stentorian on Primary Colours and launches it upward with such movement and vibrancy that their cheeky aping becomes their strong suit as opposed to a major detractor. Frontman Faris Badwan injects these songs with a vocal restraint that undercuts their muscular instrumental sections and a strong likeness to Ian Curtis and David Bowie. It’s to his credit that he has matured vocally, filling these songs with a poker-faced cool that beguiles and complements the ambitious guitar work which forms the backbone of Skying’s cinemascope vision.


Skying essentially registers as a pop record, as lazy or insulting an interpretation as that may be. There’s plenty of melody and catchy harmonies here, and virtually every song bestows a soundscape that feels part of a greater, more cohesive whole. I Can See Through You trades soaring guitar solos off disco synths, contrasting dance floor virtuosity with heaver, more abstract tones. Endless Blue opens with horns and a shimmering tranquility that precedes all the brilliant, faded colour of the record cover. It rises and falls as though it were navigating an ocean, soaring towards the light before plummeting into a thrashing guitar section that has become a key moment in the band’s live show. First single and album centerpiece Still Life recalls Simple Minds in more than just its vocals and backwashed synths, and guitarist Joshua Heyward has evidently based his style on Kevin Shields (who else would you, though, really?) to a degree that electrifies every song with a bucolic spirit. The vocal distortion applied to Badwan on Dive In bolsters the record’s considered theme of water, and that feeling of submergence is utilised as a means to disorientate and ultimately shake up the listener. One would do well to listen to the aforementioned tracks on headphones. Aural bliss awaits. 


What’s perhaps most intrinsic to Skying’s sonic landscape is its breathtaking panorama. It offers spectacular views that just don’t come around too often. The introduction to Wild Eyed feels like an enchoaching sunrise over ocean waters; one can practically hear the space between the drums and synths as this unlimited expanse bounces off Badwan’s vocals, switching to triumphant horns as it closes. Then there are the hypnotic undulations of Moving Further Away, the record’s longest piece that opens with synth-pop keys before building over eight and a half minutes of guitar fuzz and distortion. It scans as unstoppable the more it gathers steam and attests to Skying’s feeling of constant movement and fluidity. That feeling comes from the knowledge that The Horrors have transformed themselves into a young band so in sync with each other that the results are always arresting, never boring, always exciting and concerned with form as much as function. It’s almost worrying how realised their aesthetic has become, from virtually lacking an identity (as much as they tried) with Strange House and through the pioneering appropriation of Primary Colours to this melting pot of ideas on Skying. The importance of this record regarding the band’s ensured success should not be underestimated: Skying was make-or-break time. An uncalculated flop would’ve likely resigned them to the bargain bins and Primary Colours would be remembered fondly as a mere fluke, yet Skying is proof that they will remain a force to be reckoned with. It’s worth jumping on board if you haven’t already. More than anything, Skying is a statement: The Horrors aren’t going anywhere.

Posted 1 year ago 1 note

Notes:

  1. 1yron posted this

About:

1YRON aims to shine the spotlight on albums exactly one year after their release. Presented as an alternative to writing about them instantaneously, I hope to recall the album in question with a fondness of time having passed. Perhaps you may even be inspired to go back and discover something new.

Since physical and digital release dates often vary worldwide (the US commonly a day after the UK for example, or for smaller releases, sometimes weeks or months apart), these reviews will only be published on their UK or US physical release date (whichever comes first).

Following: