I originally had a bloated introduction starting off this review, but the irony is V
makes a point to avoid bullshit like that. This record is immediate, with opener “Hologram” kicking off after only a few seconds of build up. This is largely symbolic of V's
straight-to-the-point pop rock attitude. It's a very loud and produced album clearly constructed with an amphitheater setting in mind. This is further supported on the shoulders of the lead singer, whose voice booms and echoes in confidence despite carrying a solemn and sinister vibe. Monumental guitar riffs and thunderous drum beats decimate through massive synth lines like a battle of titans, offering the main duality of the show. This is the most immediate characteristic of the album: an affair between the retro and the futuristic, an amalgam that reflects an image of how the 80's may have visualized our modern times. There's an inherent throwback of post-punk and arena filling pop sounds riding alongside electronic effects and modern dance beats.
Yet none of it seems to flirt with gimmickry, comfortably working together to create a definitive sound. Underneath the screeching guitar noises, whirring electronic motors and echoing vocal effects, The Horrors aren't trying to hide anything. It's an awesome employment of these smoke tricks, acting as stage pyrotechnics rather than an act of deception. There's just straight neo-psychedelic rock on the agenda, and so coupled with this theatricality we have a unique combination that sort of compounds one another other; like being asked to touch your nose while drunk in a hall of mirrors – the reflective trickery should have no effect on your proprioception, but it ultimately does. It might even make you fall flat on your face. Luckily, The Horrors can keep their balance in this environment.
And truthfully, there's not much else to say about V
. It's not trying to be loaded with depth, or exist to be endlessly analyzed or figured out. It makes its point clear, repeats it for most of its songs, and leaves. There's novelty in that, and it makes deciding where you stand with the record quick and easy.