When The Horrors first arrived on the cover of NME a couple of years ago, being bugled as the best band in the country, various hackles were raised and naturally the inbuilt cynicism of your everyday Enemy fan smelt dubious hype. They looked amazing, and in the 100 or so seconds of the single Sheena Is A Parasite, sounded pretty good too. However, their black clad eyes and tendency to smear audiences in soot didn't suggest a long term career plan, and within a few moments of their not-that-bad debut album Strange House being released, they had been written off as some sort of novelty that it wouldn't been a shock if there were collectible Japanese action figures made of them. Primary Colours, then, is likely to be a bit of a shock to those expecting further Screaming Lord Sutch hysterics.
Oh yes. A colossal sounding amalgam of incredible influences - Neu!, My Bloody Valentine, Mary Chain, DAF, Acid house, Loop, krautrock, even Kitchens Of Distinction etc, broadening their palette enough as so not to get confused with The View. Within minutes of the first single - the eight minute Sea Within A Sea - being made available on their site, the net was vibrating with nothing but Blimey!s, and various words were in the process of being eaten.
Curiously for an album apparently made in almost total darkness, it sounds at its best in the sunshine. Like a baby Kevin Shields, Josh Third's guitar weaves undulating waves beneath opener Mirror's Image - this isn't anything, this is a full-on rebirth - the swooning vastness of guitar and vintage organs on Three Decades; I Only Think Of You is the Velvet Underground you can sunbathe to; If we lived in a world where Jesus & Mary Chain once had Top Ten hits, then there's no reason why Who Can Say with its Joe Meek-ian organs and girl-group homage, can't repeat such a thing.
There's barely a bad moment here. You are left more in awe that A: this is The Horrors and B: it stands tall above so many other things. Genuinely, really, very, very good indeed, people. Hell, even an album of the year. --Ian Wade
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