Celebrate The Horrors' Primary Colours With An Influences Spotify Playlist
, March 20th, 2009 10:35
The Horrors new album Primary Colours has barely left The Quietus stereo this week. In our Spotify playlist, we look at its reference points, and salute the band for avoiding the sophomore slump
The career of the British guitar group generally follows a fairly predictable route. Early gigs
in one of the great cities London get A&R types, a few journalists and (if you're easy on the eye) some pulchritudinous art students in a frenzy. During this process, you will be squired by people of moderate power and inflated ego, who will promise the earth. A record deal will follow, as will a tour to ratchet up the fever, before you settle down in some studio to knock out passable versions of your extant catalogue, along with some hastily cobbled together new tracks that you're not quite happy with but have to go with because the debut album needs to come out on the crest of that wave.
Album released, it's the live circuit where, to keep you going through the endless tedium of the fact that half the cities in the UK and beyond couldn't give a hoot, you start to indulge in potions and pop. This, of course, knackers the creative faculties, so by the time it comes to record the difficult second album, the task rises above you like an insurmountable colossus on which your shaking, sweaty palms struggle to find purchase. After yet more booze and nose-to-the-mirror, knickers-to-the-floor quests for 'inspiration', you turn in a weak facsimile of your debut to a world that's already moved on to new things. Thus is the curse of the Sophomore Slump.
A year or so ago, you might have expected to see The Horrors winklepickers sliding down this slope into the pit in which the near dead corpses of The Stone Roses (Second Coming), The Futureheads (,News And Tributes) The Clash (Give Them Enough Rope), The Smiths (Meat Is Murder) twitched – before either expiring with a rattle, or summoning energies for a more prosperous future. After all, cynics had The Horrors pegged as a band beloved of a Shoreditch few (they spend so much time around the postcode that guitarist Josh has made it onto Google maps, Hackney Road) who had required a rather hands-on producer in the studio, and were featured on the cover of a certain publication before the editor had heard a note of music, merely because they looked so good.
Yet with their second album Primary Colours, long-legged Faris and pals seem to have effortlessly escaped any danger of a slow decline. In fact, this record is so good it surely sees them destined for bigger and better things. Much as My Bloody Valentine went from Crampsesque rockers to sonic wanderers, Primal Scream dropped the cosmic garage rock jangle for insanely popular crossover sounds of Screamadelica and and Liars threw away trucker cap hipster rhythms in favour of a concept album about witches, The Horrors have come back with an album that's in thrall to 80s goth, kratrock, shoegaze and post punk. It's a druggy, hypnotic, excited record that's undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2009 - and let us not forget that this is shaping up to be a year that's hardly shy on the formidable long-player front. Yet many of those strange beings who do not know any light save from the glow of their messageboard-displaying computer monitors remain doubters, accusing new Horrors material of being derivative. The Quietus takes umbrage at such a suggestion in the form of this week's Spotify playlist. In terms of bright and glaring reference points (and the odd bracing steal) Primary Colours is aptly named, but this is a record that is far more than the sum of its parts... and those parts, as our playlist shows, are choice ones indeed.
Listen to the Quietus' Horrors influences playlist, featuring the likes of Neu!, The Psychedelic Furs, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Wire, Sonic Youth, Spiritualized, The Velvet Underground, Interpol, Can, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Suede , Kitchens of Distinction, Portishead, Mercury Rev, LCD Soundsystem and Wendy Carlos.