The Horrors
Strange House


2.5
average

Review

by Arjun USER (19 Reviews)
March 5th, 2007 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Horrors fail to impress on their first outing.

I really, really want Joshua Von Grimm's (Joshua Hayward) guitar effects processor. I don't know whether it's a result of his B.Sc. in Physics from University College London or watching infinite repeats of the Addams Family that he came to making his own box, but for The Horrors breed of what I like to call Frankenstein music it's perfect.

Which is not to say that Strange House is perfect. In fact, it barely makes the cut.

Faris Rotter (Faris Badwan) is your quintessential new garage punk vocalist. He's got the whole "look I can do The Killers AND The Strokes" thing going for him and it wouldn't be all bad, if he didn't end up sounding like a drunken bum trying to read from a teleprompter on most songs. Pugsley and Wednesday are not going to be happy.

The album itself is pretty sketchy. At parts it takes off and seems to be going somewhere, but then they manage somehow to disturb the trend. It starts decently with Jack The Ripper - a howling, rollercoaster of a song that is probably the most 'original/unique' the album gets. The single Sheena Is A Parasite is nothing too special (in fact, I haven't quite understood what the fuss is all about). The album has several low points where it seems the band hasn't tried at all and just want to fill in the gaps between the more upbeat numbers. They're worse than fillers cos this is material that the band already had, i.e., the album is essentially re-recorded material from earlier releases.

Here's what The Horrors have got going for them - the novelty. They're a little different, and have some decent instrumentation. I'm assuming they'll have their live act sorted out, and the songs themselves lend to a reasonable amount of creativity when it comes to a show. Songs like Count In Fives and Draw Japan are like watching Young Frankenstein on fast forward, under influence. Nothing spectacular, but decent enough to ensure two, maybe three listens.

Where The Horrors find themselves screwed are, ironically, that they're just a novelty. And not a very intriguing novelty at that. Take the instrumental Gil Sleeping for example. There's absolutely nothing that stands out about the track except Von Grimm's... okay, that sounded lame... Hayward's guitars, which too, play to a rhythm. It's like they just removed the vocal track from the final recording. They've not been creative enough to explore. Most of the songs begin to sound the same after a while and you begin wondering whether you really like the organ anyways (wow, I'm on fire today).

It's a fundamental dilemma The Horrors face, and essentially, a standpoint can only be made by how the band see themselves and where they intend to be. Unfortunately for them, it currently doesn't seem them going too far.

Frankly, the whole big organ sound was much better on Cursive's The Ugly Organ. The Horrors have managed to throw in some typical new-indie-Brit wordplay and like most of the NME's big things, don't really have much substance other than a few decent hooks and some uppity beats.



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user ratings (124)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
snydely (4)
Unapologetically loud and weird, but don't take it too seriously...

ricardo18 (4)
A flawed, yet very good album from a band who inject originality and life into the modern day rock s...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JumpTheF**kUp
March 5th 2007


2710 Comments


Your reviews are always concise and to the point.

I like that.

paperslut
March 5th 2007


54 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks!

Neoteric
March 5th 2007


3243 Comments


You described the band well but you never really described the album. If you expand on this then you can get my pos vote.

paperslut
March 5th 2007


54 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@ Neoteric - Better? Btw, the re-look also prompted a rating change.

Neoteric
March 5th 2007


3243 Comments


A bit better.

mr2hard
March 30th 2007


5 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

The worst band I've heard in months

emogangstascotty
August 8th 2007


472 Comments


It wasnt that bad when I first heard it on local radio. So I brought this album immeditealy and listened to it all the way through. Damn! I didnt relise that the song I heard was on the first record/EP. How was I suppose to know?

chris21
February 14th 2008


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think this is a solid album, from the kind of scene they create the music fits it really well.

marksellsuswallets
November 9th 2008


4848 Comments


nvmThis Message Edited On 11.08.08

imnotthere420
November 12th 2009


106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a pretty good album, good for when you just want something to drink and act retarded to.

Nikkolae
April 14th 2010


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i really dislike this album and band, like REAAAAAAAALLY dislike em

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

JackBaker
October 24th 2011


13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Contrary to popular opinion, I actually PREFER this LP to Primary Colours and Skying. The secret is not to be drawn in by their somewhat pretentious look in this era. If you put this gothic miscinception aside there is actually something very raw and quite brilliant about this record - well, to me atleast.

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
March 11th 2013


165 Comments


Had some hopes for this album, turned out to be a XXI century re-endition of The Birthday Party. Same vocal delivery, same atmosphere... only twenty years later.



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