2017 Review – Best Album

Our votes for Best Album are as follows…

= 3. St. Vincent – Masseduction (14%) & The Horrors – V (14%)

2. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (15.7%)

1. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy (17.5%)

The Horrors – V Review

As titles of albums go you could be forgiven for thinking the Horrors latest, and fifth, album ‘V’ is a tad on the plain side. But according to frontman Faris Badwan the shape isn’t simply a marker for just how many albums the south-end-on-sea band have released into the world but also a representation of a certain, not so peaceful, hand gesture.

Although there is a feeling of reaching the end of your patience within many tracks don’t worry this isn’t The Horrors suddenly ditching those synth layers and echoes of their garage rock DIY aesthetic in favour of an energetic punk punchout. Really the up-yours in ‘V’ is more a whispered, mumbled under the breath while standing in the corner kind.  

Working with an outside producer for the first time since ‘Primary Colours’, Paul Epworth (London Grammar, Adele, Coldplay, Bloc Party) adding his ear to ‘V’ it would be easy to presume there should be an anthemic track or two hidden amongst the tracks.

Opener Hologram slithers into life in a sea of ambient synths, reflecting a little of 80’s electronica that perhaps rubbed off after recently supporting Depeche Mode.

‘Press Enter To Exit’ continues the classic eighties feel with its false ending and New Order rich swagger continued in tracks like ‘Weighted Down’, which begins with gentle violins before a stomping percussion adds a little Joy Division to the feel of things.  

Though it’s not just an eighties sound that is captured within ‘V’. First single ‘Machine’ and ‘Gatherings’ seem to yearn for those cascading 90’s Brit-pop era anthems.Mixing a little Suede to The Horrors retro feel. 

Everything is kept pretty much consistently within swaggering melancholy as ‘Ghost’ creates an, admittedly expected, haunted wall of sound that wonders around in a pretty gloomy atmosphere, gloomy in an entrancing way of course. ‘Point Of No Reply’ continues things in a misty edged tone. Wrapped in a fairly pointed lyric unfurling the bruises of an unhealthy relationship. The track descends into fuzzy distortion before clicking to an abrupt end like a cassette reaching the last millimetres of reel; ‘Throwing knives with an eye for revenge Tell your friends I hate you There’s nothing I can do.’

‘It’s A Good Life’ has a tentativeness to it. Written after the death of Peaches Geldof it feels imbued with the kind of heart fitting a The Cure album; ‘She lay in the dark, but I don’t know who found her.’

Bringing the album to a close ‘Something To Remember Me By’ is at last that i-phones in the air moment that Epworth’s name may have slightly promised. Though even this track is in no way a commercialised moment. A synth-pop romance laced within a driving beat makes for a lighter, once again New Order influenced, closer. Though even here there is still a darker interlude crafted into the tracks middle; ‘You say that I believe my lies But now you’ll never know.’

Perhaps not as oddball as previous albums ‘V’ is still an enchanting collection of tracks full of retro riffs that feel like The Horrors crafting an album full of genuine heart.

The Horrors – V = 8.5/10 

Hayley Miller

Single Review – The Horrors – Weighed Down

Third track from The Horrors soon to be released fifth album ‘V’, due September 22, ‘Weighed Down’ follows on from the bands lead single ‘Machine’ and the synth-pop-infused epic ‘Something To Remember Me By.’ With Faris Badwan’s pleading vocal tumbling over some pretty fuzz heavy melancholic guitar lines and the distant percussive echoes of Joe Spurgeon, the track contains a fairly darkened shoe-gaze style melody. Things builds into an expansive and, despite the tracks title, somehow light yet industrially edged single, which seems to hint ‘V’ is taking The Horrors in an ever so slightly different direction. 

Hayley Miller

Single Review – The Horrors – Something To Remember Me By

Electro-Pop was not something we expected to hear from The Horrors, especially after the dark industrial sounds of the lead single ‘Machine’ from their upcoming fifth album V (due for release on Sepetember 22nd). ‘Something to remember me by’ features a crisp Pop beat along with chiming synth chords. The chorus opens up into an array of shimmering electronica and wiry tunes played out by a further set of synths. Faris’ vocals do strain slightly to fit into the pacey and upbeat environment, but just about work into the blazer piece of electronic indulgence which looks to indicate a varied album, but you’d hope the darker landscapes or at least the method behind them prevails for their fifth album as there were only hints at those soundscaping methods in this track.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Wavves – Pony

San Diego’s fuzzed up surf rockers Wavves are to release their fifth studio album V at the end of the week and have unveiled a final single from it before that with ‘Pony’. It is another track with this easily recognisable Californian rock elements with a rapid, rumbling bass line, off shooting guitars and shouting vocals. In that case this song is the living embodiment of the style and like their other singles, offers up nothing you won’t have heard before from them or many of the higher quality acts from the state. So far there’s been little to distinguish between the singles and we can expect the album to be just as musically narrow.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Wavves – Heavy Metal Detox

San Diego’s fuzzed up surf rockers Wavves, release another track off their forthcoming album V which is expected on October 2nd. Much like the previous single released from the album ‘Heavy Metal Detox’ is another track full of thrashing guitars played at a rapid pace with shouting vocals over the top. If you’re into a rehash of a dated and well worn late 90’s sound then again… this is for you. These tracks would probably sound a little better live but this is one album I’m not looking forward to.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Wavves – Flamezesz

San Diego surfed up alt-rockers Wavves return with another single called ‘Flamezesz’ for their upcoming fifth album V out on October 2nd. A band not really known for producing contemplative or dynamic music, this track is just a further continuation of their dated and monotonous sound. The accelerating rhythm guitars, equally rumbling bass line and shouty vocals sound like they’ve been plucked straight out of a bad late 90’s teen movie. If that’s your sort of thing though, then you’ll love this track.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995