The fourth studio album by British gothic rock/post-punk band The Horrors was self-produced and is called Luminous; it will be out next week on XL Records. Made up of members including the infamous lead vocalist Faris Badwan (also part of duo Cat’s Eyes), guitarist Joshua Hayward, keyboardist Tom Cowan, bassist Rhys Webb and Joe Spurgeon on the drums. Recorded over fifteen months in the band’s East London studio, The Horrors also had help from co-producer Craig Silvey.
Moving towards a more fun, electronic, dream pop sound with Luminous, the set of ten tracks are quite far removed from the single that first got them noticed back in 2007, “Sheena Is a Parasite”. A prime example of this is opener “Chasing Shadows” which is a spaced out, gentle intro building up experimental squeaks and soft drums before half way through noisy guitar picks up the pace. The vocals eventually come in; “Disappear with you, and you’re like no-one else” the vocal style is gentle and have an almost nineties Brit-pop vibe.
“First Day of Spring” has the light, airy melody and vocals you would expect from such a title and continues the dreamy essence Luminous radiates. “So Now You Know” builds this up again with another steady, catchy melody, which makes it very appropriate as the second released single from this album (following “I See You”).
“In and Out of Sight” is a more danceable number whilst “Jealous Sun” includes wall of sound style noisy guitar. “I See You” is the longest track on Luminous at seven and a half minutes long but interestingly, was also the first released single from the album. Grungy guitar mixes with electronic rhythms and Badwan singing out uplifting vocals; “I can see your future in it, I can see it there, I see you, I see you”.
“Mine and Yours” brings in electric guitar in an agile but effective way before the album closes with “Sleepwalk” – a squeaky, flowing track capturing the dreamy mood of a sleepwalker’s spell. It’s clear to see The Horrors have really moved on from their first few releases and have grown to adapt a more refined style of song writing and use of vocals and melody. Luminous is a chilled, summery album which is fun, accessible but still with a unique sound to keep you listening.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.