Chimpomatic

The Horrors

Primary Colours

XL Recordings

What The Horrors first album Strange House alluded to and what Primary Colours only serves to confirm is that The Horrors are in essence a pastiche band - begging, borrowing and stealing from rock n roll’s history and then repackaging and re-releasing. Re-invention should not be considered a criticism, but you could easily have expected Primary Colours to be more of the same, a method Oasis have been executing for well over 15 years. In fact, Primary Colours is very different to its predecessor, slower, measured - and where Strange House took the Goth punk of The Cramps and blended it with the sixties psychedelic weirdness of acts such as Screaming Lord Such, the influences running through this LP are altogether different.

On hearing the introduction of opening track Mirror Image, your first reaction may be that you’ve been given the wrong album. Where are the gothic organ sounds and sixties surf bass-lines? Here you’ll hear phasing, pitch-bending distortion; and may assume you have been handed a lost My Bloody Valentine album in error. Vocalist Farris Badawan’s first appearance confirms it’s the right record - but even then his performance resembles Brett Anderson with slightly larger testicles; gone is the aggressive scowl that dominates Strange House. Unfortunately this doesn’t end with the first track and while the My Bloody Valentine motif runs through most of the album, this is unfortunately no Loveless. More like a cheap market version of MBV, doing remixes of other bands: The Cure on Mirror Image, The Psychedelic Furs on Primary Colours, or Siouxsie and the Banshees on I Can’t Control Myself.

What is lacking from Primary Colours is the energy, the aggression, the uncontained vocals and the simple but effective musicianship of Strange House. No band has an obligation to be defined by genre and it would be wrong to demand it (although I‘m tempted to say any band employing the Madchester drum break employed in Do You Remember has no right to call themselves The Horrors, EMF yes, The Charlatans maybe, The Horrors no). What disappoints most is, while they were never going to be the most original band, they were at least unique. Strange House wasn’t perfect, but it was different and refreshing, best of all it sounded like the antithesis to the entire rolling basslined, high-keyed anthems that were and are still dominating the current music scene. If Strange House was The Horrors as mavericks, this is The Horrors falling back into line - if Brandon Flowers sung Scarlet Fields, it could easily be a Killers track (remixed by the counterfeit My Bloody Valentine of course).

This is not to make Primary Colours sound like an obituary, because there are some undoubted highlights. New Ice Age, despite the over production retains its energy, I Only Think Of You is strong enough to survive the Boards Of Canada treatment and the production on I Can’t Control Myself works well. Best of all is Sea Within A Sea, the epic 8 minute closer which starts like Joy Division’s No Love Lost and ends like Portisheads The Rip (unsurprising, as Portishead’s Geoff Barrow co-produces the album).

Where Strange House compelled you to throw yourself into the mosh pit, Primary Colours encourages you to stand at the back and listen with your arms firmly folded. Some may consider this progress but it could easily alienate many existing fans. It will probably get 9/10 from the NME and be described as The Horrors ‘maturing’, if that’s true it’s them reaching adolescence, talented but unsure, full of doubt and overly influenced by their friends. Somewhere there’s a great band trying to get out, but this album leaves you confused as to whether they’re a studio or live band. At some point they’re going to have to make that decision.

 

#SP
#Music

27th Apr 2009 - Tumblr

3

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Related

Aidan John Moffat

I Can Hear Your Heart

El Camino

Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Search

Vice

Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

Minding the Gap

Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Manchester by the Sea

Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Spider-Man

Into the Spider-Verse

Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Dora & the Lost City of Gold

Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Aug 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Breath

Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing i… https://t.co/qW3B55bCcG.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Aug 2019

Read more star reviews

A Star is Born

Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Two For Joy

Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mary Poppins Returns

Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Jun 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Coraline

Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Jun 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Blackkklansman

Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st May 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Can’t Stand Losing You

Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th May 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Tallulah

Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Dumbo

Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Apr 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Missing Link

Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Apr 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Sicario 2

Soldaro

Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Hold the Dark

Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Leave No Trace

Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Mar 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Dirt

Fun biopic that runs out of steam about when the band did.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Deadpool 2

A diminished remake of Deadpool 1. Occasional LOLs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Mar 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Bird Box

High concept sci-fi that stretches its concept a little thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Triple Frontier

Unremarkable, cliche-ridden actioner. Utterly lacking in suspense.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Mar 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Jurassic World

Fallen Kingdom

A disjointed patchwork of homages, nods and rip offs from dozens of other movies, with little to offer of its own.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Mar 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

A Quiet Place

Laborious, high-concept alien horror. While the concept is good, the beats are all well telegraphed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Isn’t It Romantic

Witty, if a little obvious, post-meta rom-com.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The Lego Movie 2

The Second Part

It’s literally a re-hash of all the themes of the first one with a few less jokes.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Feb 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Unsane

Slight, but sometime engaging iPhone feature.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Jan 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Tully

Decent modern spin on Mary Poppins. Bit uneven, but a nice soundtrack helps things along.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

20th Jan 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Rampage

Bog standard entry into The-Rock-action-movie genre. As much personality as a computer game.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Jan 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Avengers

Infinity War

This time it’s really, really serious. Seriously.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Greatest Showman

It’s a musical ...but slick direction makes it just about bearable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Dec 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Ready Player One

Pop-culture bouillabaisse, hampered by numerous terrible accents.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Dec 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Lady Bird

Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Dec 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

Darkest Hour

Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Den of Thieves

Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Well crafted character study, with some nice touches.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Nov 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

You Were Never Really Here

Brutal revenge thriller. Stylish and violent, with plenty of explanation left to the imagination.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Private Life

Intense indie drama from Netflix. Impeccably acted and directed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Oct 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

Black Panther

Disappointingly unoriginal superhero movie, complete with dull CGI action.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Oct 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Modern Life is Rubbish

Continually clichéd rock romance that never breaks into originality.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2018

Read more 1.5 star reviews

England is Mine

Dry Morrissey biopic that gets arty by avoiding using any Smiths songs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Oct 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Only Living Boy in New York

Decent rehash of vintage indie movie tropes.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Oct 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Hostiles

Mumblingly wordy western that’s big on self-importance and low on drama and tension.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Disaster Artist

Muddled biopic with occasional moments of eccentric comedy madness.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Boy Downstairs

Like a long episode of Girls that’s all about one of the more boring characters.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Sep 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Shot Caller

Slightly confused slice of post-Michael Mann LA crime.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Ingrid Goes West

Sympathetic retread of Single White Female, with added #hashtags.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Aug 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Jumanji

Welcome to the Jungle

Fun updated reboot with added Breakfast Club.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Aug 2018

Read more 3 star reviews