Yeah, yeah, yeah they wear their influences on their skinny-wristed sleeves. With the first record, it was goth and garage rock. The second album channelled the spirit of Kevin Shields, as he can’t be bothered to channel it himself. For Skying, their third album, The Horrors have taken to sporting the sounds of Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, Suede and the entire late ‘80s/early ‘90s baggy scene. This is irrelevant. The important thing to note is that The Horrors can take inspiration from any band or genre and use it to generate something which still clearly has The Horrors stamp all over it.
While nothing here quite touches the glory that is ‘Sea Within A Sea’, ‘Moving Further Away’ certainly has a go but perhaps resembles the former too much to have as strong an impact. ‘Oceans Burning’ actually fares better at creating that searing epic moment by stripping things down to a melancholic lament, only to surprise you when a wall of feedback gives way to a thumping motorik coda. It’s not the only surprise here. ‘Endless Blue’ is punk rock angst that somehow finds space for trumpets while ‘Dive In’ manages to make Madchester shoegazing an exciting prospect. Although it’s hard to imagine The Horrors ever selling out stadiums, these songs are built to fill massive venues and massive headphones – anthems for forlorn teenagers with fringes blurring their view.
As a whole, Skying is a more consistent record than Primary Colours, if perhaps a less electrifying one . For a record produced by the band themselves, it is easily their slickest sounding record to date. Even if there is nothing entirely original about The Horrors, Skying has cemented their position as one of the most inventive and imaginative guitar bands around right now.