The Horrors The Horrors

England’s latest underground sensations are a fivesome from London that look like they raided the set of a Tim Burton production of Blow Up: pasty, paper-thin young men with big black coifs and tight-fitting, macabre outfits. Thing is, as ridiculous as this amalgam of mod and Goth fashion sounds (moth?), they look absolutely fabulous. But fashion should never overshadow the music, and thankfully the sound of this debut EP is next to impossible to outdo, even in their lurid case. Skulking somewhere in the shadows of the Birthday Party, the Cramps and the Stooges, the Horrors (no, not the ones signed to In the Red) are a gang of miscreants set on finding middle ground between trashy noise and hooky garage rock anthems. "Sheena is a Parasite” (which they roped in Chris Cunningham to a direct a banned music video for starring Samantha Morton) is their signature tune that generates a killer organ/distorted guitar cocktail at a blinding rate while vocalist Faris Badwan spits his vitriolic verse. "Jack the Ripper” sports their Englishness in the most sinister of ways, telling the story of the infamous slasher — no doubt an influence — with the dexterity of a sober Birthday Party. "Death at the Chapel” opts for something a little more commercial with a sound like the Libertines being whiplashed mercilessly by the Sonics. Jumping on the UK press bandwagon is never a wholesome feeling, but the Horrors are an indisputable find. (Stolen Transmission)