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Strange House  Hear it Now

RS: 2.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars


London goth rockers The Horrors have everything required to make it: black-clad stick-insect bodies, five perfect heads of ratted hair plus England's hype-stoking rock press, and the fans who believe it, behind them. What they don't have is the true conviction to back up their self-described "psychotic sounds for freaks and weirdos." On its full-length debut, Strange House (a follow-up to last year's promising The Horrors EP), the band makes a lot of frayed, spooky noise but struggles to sustain the boisterous confidence that it sported on its attention-grabbing single "Sheena Is a Parasite." The gnarly one-two punch of opening tracks "Jack the Ripper" (also on the EP) and "Count in Fives" quickly gives way to a series of chaotic but same-y-sounding organ-and- serrated-guitar jams ("Horrors Theme," "Little Victories") that attempt to make up in attitude what they lack in emotional resonance. It doesn't work. The Horrors are still young, and they still show promise (on the wild goth hymn "She Is the New Thing," for example), but they don't get what their industrial-punk forbears like the Cramps, the Birthday Party, Ministry and NIN knew: It takes soul to be weird.


(Posted: Apr 17, 2007)


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Review 1 of 1

stuporfly writes:

4of 5 Stars

Predictably, Elizabeth Goodman gets it wrong. Yes, the Horrors are young, but Goodman mistakes attitude as a substitute for emotional resonance, when in actuality it's an extension of the band's confidence. More than most contemporary bands, the Horrors are living the scene, the music they love and the shared thrill of musicians interacting with their audience. The Horrors revel in all of these things, and what Goodman hears as "same-y-sounding organ-and-serrated-guitar jams" are each fantastic examples of what happens when the worlds of intellectual music nerds and amphetamine-fuelled sex in a bathroom stall collide.

Instrumental "Gil Sleeping" is a bit of a drag, I'll admit. I had a friend buy the album for me while over in England a few months ago, and my copy has a version of "Excellent Choice" (from the band's US debut EP) rather than "Horrors Theme", but I think both tracks are terrific.

But as with almost everything Goodman posts on, it was more about listing other bands she likes than it as about the Horrors anyway.

May 25, 2007 13:07:45

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