The Horrors – Primary Colors

The Horrors - Primary Colours (2009)
The Horrors’ shoegazer makeover aside, the real story here is Badwan’s growing confidence as a singer, and his willingness to sound more scared than scary. Primary Colours loses its radiance when he reverts back to bogeyman type: “New Ice Age” sounds like a musty Strange House holdover, while “I Can’t Control Myself” is a rewrite of Spiritualized’s “Come Together” that– in the absence of Jason Pierce’s gospel choir and backing orchestra– simply grinds its repetitive riff into the ground. But such regressions are a distant memory once we get sucked into “Sea Within a Sea”, which, after you get beyond the “hey, we bought a Can record” novelty, proves to be something much more than a mere clinical exercise in record-collector rock. Rather, the song plays out as an analogue of the Horrors’ own spiritual rebirth, its hypno-rock pulse turning more ominous and intense before a synth-triggered denouement introduces a melodic levity that breaks the song’s air of despair and completes the Horrors’ aesthetic liberation. For a band that’s endured no lack of skepticism for their pre-fab packaging, it turns out the freakiest thing about the Horrors is that they’re for real.



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