From their origins of a media whoring comedy goth band, The Horrors have been given a chance few are afforded – to mature and develop as a band with full label support (XL Recordings, having left Loog Records in 2007). It wasn’t all style over substance, Strange House had the retro-punk gems ‘Gloves’ and ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’ but it also came with the sub-title “Psychotic Sounds for Freaks and Weirdos”. The band-members had stupid made-up names to convey their spookiness, Rotter, Von Grimm, Spider, Coffin??? That and their fondness for cuban heels, powdered faces and falling out of clubs with the Geldoffs left them open to ridicule. Then, under the helm of Portishead’s Geoff Barrows and film-maker Chris Cunningham, The Horrors were transformed. Pseudonyms were the dropped and the five lads from Southend on Sea returned with their second album Primary Colours, a much lauded beefy collection of droney atmospheric goth rock – earning them a spot in many top albums lists of 2009 and a Mercury prize nomination.
So here we are with album number three and it seems The Horrors are still on a upward curve. Taking its name from a ’60s tape recording technique, Skying finds the band looking to the past for inspiration but not as far as the ’60s. There’s the early ’90s scuzzy glamour of Suede with a dash of Pulp humour, and even some late ’80s British new wave – hell, ‘Wild Eyed’ even has a horns section! The self-produced album is set for release later this week and one thing is clear, The Horrors have been spending less time playing dress-up and more time listening to and making great music.