The Horrors Primary Colours

The Horrors Primary Colours
Often accused of being all style and no substance, the tight-trousered, big-haired goths in the Horrors were victims of the dreaded UK press overload, which elevated their legend to the point where no album could meet expectations. And while Strange House was a competent debut, it never really had a chance. Primary Colours appears without the lofty pressure and wouldn't you know it, it's their sophomore album that will make them cult heroes. Produced by Portishead's Geoff Barrow and, surprisingly, outlandish filmmaker Chris Cunningham (who directed their first video), the Horrors abandon the swampy, bloodthirsty freak beat and expand their famously obscure influences. Primary Colours puts its famed producers to the test - with its creaking melody and atmospheric chill "Scarlet Fields" could have ended up on Third without suspicion. "Who Can Say" and "New Ice Age" uphold some of the depravity that made these ghouls stars but the title track and "Mirror's Image" surprise with heavy washes of harmonic psychedelia. And then there's epic first single "Sea Within A Sea," a chugging bit of Krautrock that reveals a coda of dizzying euphoria and will be forever held as their signature song. Devoid of the hyperbole that nearly killed them, the Horrors have made a Rocky Balboa-sized comeback, and the most unexpected statement of this year. (XL)