A Few Steps Above “Meh”
It’s been three months now since the English goth/indie/shoegaze rock group The Horrors released a single for their fourth full-length Luminous. “I See You” is the longest track and turns out it was a great teaser for the rest of the album: frontman Faris Badwan smoothly belts out how he really feels (“I can see right through you and I don’t get it”) and as soon as you think the song’s over, it’s probably just at the halfway mark and cleverly switches gears for part two.
Each track is thought-out and meticulous, which is likely to happen when a band spends fifteen months creating ten songs. Every beat is full, echoing and rich, with all sorts of unique sounds. The synth (Tom Cowan) in the chorus of “Sleepwalk” sounds like someone’s about to get stabbed in a horror movie scene, and opener “Chasing Shadows” is nothing more than a slew of dreamy electronic noise until about halfway through, when the guitar (Joshua Hayward) picks up and saves the song, which really sounds like two totally different songs with the same title.
“So Now You Know” is a highlight of the album. The song feels light-hearted, like it’s not taking itself so seriously. And follow-up track “In And Out Of Sight” echoes these sentiments, coming off far less dramatic compared to other tracks on Luminous.
The Horrors have always been in pretty good standing with fans and critics alike. It’s not likely Luminous will deter that standing; however, The Horrors are an acquired taste, like dark, bitter beer or living in the Valley. And unless you’ve got a keen ear for this kind of music or you’re kind of stoned, you might not feel a connection and could get bored listening to Luminous.