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The Horrors - Primary Colors

Released by XL Recordings, 4/21/09

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

The long awaited second release by The Horrors, Primary Colors, is here. The new single “Who Can Say” has a hard charging guitar that sounds of reverb and fuzz while Faris Badwan's echoing vocals let us know we are better off for the wait. After announcing they were recording a new album at the end of 2007, Faris, Joshua Third, Tomethy Furse, Spider Webb and Coffin Joe teamed up with producers Geoff Barrow, Craig Silvey and Chris Cunningham to try and meet the hype with their sophomore release. A good mix of rocking punk to mid-paced songs blanketed by a dense warp of guitars and haunting vocals encapsulates the sound on the album.

The spacey intro of “Mirror's Image” is the calm before the distortion; whirling guitars and a cyclical keyboard melody create a punk feeling of anxiety and confusion making one look for a Xanex. One of the best tracks on the album is “Do You Remember” with a catchy bass line and a woolly guitar riff that feels as if you stepped into a damp British garage. If you can't wait for calm after the angst, “I Only Think Of You” brings a more soothing wave that crests and falls like an accordion of sound on the beaches of your inner ear. Coffin Joe's rocking drums and Spider Webb's fast tempo bass develop “Sea Within A Sea” into a rocking tune worthy of leaving you with a last shadowy taste lingering of the Horrors.

It is always difficult to meet the expectations of hype but with Primary Colors, The Horrors did exceptional work that judged on its own merit is substantial. Since we waited, it has crossed the ocean blue and landed on our beaches not a moment too soon.