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Celebrate The Horrors' Primary Colours With An Influences Spotify Playlist
Luke Turner , 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

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Listen to the Quietus' Horrors influences playlist

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.

Anthony Chalmers
Mar 20, 2009 2:57pm

Really looking forward to getting this on 12" and I don't buy a lot of albums these days. Heard a few track and going to be one of the best albums of the year as far as I'm concerned!

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Jon Doran
Mar 23, 2009 9:25pm

Do you really think it's THAT good? Really?? The bits I've heard just sound like lame imitations of "Shoot Speed / Kill Light" & Loop - it'll be amusing to send the tabloids falling over each other to namedrop Neu! though. Sorry, but Deerhunter & Crystal Stilts are WAY out in front of these guys...

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John Doran
Mar 24, 2009 8:34am

1. Yes. 2. Nothing on this album sounds like 'Shoot Speed/Kill Light'. 3. Even if it did, that's a pretty sweet song. 4. Loop were awesome. 5. Tabloids? What are you talking about? There's only one song that sounds like Neu! (it actually sounds more like 'Mother Sky' by Can to be honest). 6. I'll take this album over either band (even though I like both of them).

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Young Gunner
Mar 24, 2009 5:33pm

Good mix.... nice one guys. The Horrors influences are pretty spot-on - and they all seem to be excellent DJ's themselves. So, when is the album released?

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John Doran
Mar 24, 2009 5:43pm

May 4th. I'll be surprised if it doesn't get moved forwards slightly.

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Jon Doran
Mar 24, 2009 10:52pm

1.Yes, it's a sweet song. And it does the Krautrock-referencing thing better than anything I've heard from The Horrors album SO FAR 2.Yes, Loop were "awesome" 3.Tabloids? When the LP gets reviewed in the "proper" press & lazy journalists inevitably regurgitate the press release or Wikipedia's entry on Neu! 4.The Horrors over Deerhunter/Crystal Stilts? That's your loss... 5. Yes, The Horrors influences are "pretty spot-on", but so what? A good record collection doesn't necessarily equate with good songwriting or original ideas though does it? 7.I am confident that The Horrors will hit upon an original idea EVENTUALLY...

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John Doran
Mar 25, 2009 10:01am

Have you only heard the one song? This seems to be the case with everyone who is frothing about their 'change of direction' at the moment. There's one song that sounds a bit like 'Mother Sky' by Can. The fact that it also sounds a bit like Jamie Principal and Psychedelic Furs as well doesn't get mentioned because that stands in the way of a good whinge.

I've got the press release here. It doesn't mentione Neu!.

Crystal Stilts and Deerhunter are both good bands but I could pare them down to their influences as well. Crystal Stilts especially are 100% influenced by rock's past, don't have as good tunes and are not as cool. You must be able to see that criticising The Horrors for not having original ideas and then lauding Crystal Stilts is pretty barefaced.

I think the difference is that here at The Quietus we're less likely to accept that music from the North Americas is "awesome" just because of sheer dint of its geographical birthplace. If The Horrors weren't British and not a band that used to have extravagant hairstyles, sites like Pitchfork would be all over them.

At the end of the day - Kitchens of Distinction, The Banshees and Psychedelic Furs = more interesting and obscure influences than wanting to sound like a combination of The Doors and The Cramps.

You are right, people are banging on about Neu! all the time in connection with this band but it's people like you, using it as a stick to beat them with. Up until 6 months ago loads of hipsters were banging on about Neu! at every given opportunity but now that The Horrors release one single that bears a passing resemblence and Oasis declare themselves to be fans, everyone's acting like Neu! are Take That.

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John Doran
Mar 25, 2009 10:04am

I guess what I'm saying is: listen to the album and then get back to me about the Neu! thing - it's a red herring honestly.

This band sound much more like 'Isn't Anything' era MBV mixed with goth/post punk, but then that doesn't make for much of an argument.

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Jon Doran
Mar 25, 2009 12:05pm

I've heard 4 songs from the album (c/o my girlfriend). No problem with them as such & I certainly don't find them (or the band) in any way offensive, but maybe that's because they all remind me (explictly) of other band's songs/records that I already like/own. Am just confused by the push the new LP is being given by informed corners of the music press (The Quietus for instance) when hopefully (SURELY?!) there must be more interesting/forward-looking/downright superior records you could be writing about? Don't laugh, I'll probably end up buying Primary Colours because I know, essentially, that I'll like it, much in the same way that I expect to like (for example) Primal Scream's stuff because our record collections are quite similar - doesn't this strike you as being slightly defeatist though...?

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Jon Doran
Mar 25, 2009 12:08pm

Oh yeah, Crystal Stilts I can take or leave (was just suggesting that they do this kind of thing very well also, possibly better) but Deerhunter are pretty unassailable at the moment I reckon - they're literally haemorraging excellent music at the moment (check their blog)...

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killblinton
Jun 30, 2012 12:51pm

Nice to see something from Boces on there, one of the great lost albums.

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