The Horrors Strange House

The Horrors Strange House
This gangly band of spooky goths were most certainly conceived knowing they’d either be passionately loved or despised and for the most part, things have gone according to plan. Singer Farris Badwan has been publicly ridiculed and even beaten up for just being himself, and the London-based band have had to fight their way through suffocating media hype. But here they are with a debut album that will shut up everyone willing to sit down and get them a chance. Co-produced by the Bad Seeds’ Jim Sclavunos, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner and the legendary Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Depeche Mode), Strange House is relentless in its vision and execution. They clearly live on a musical diet of the Sonics and the Cramps but they can hardly be accused of aping either thanks to a deep, educated fascination with much more strident acts like the avant-noise of Teenage Jesus & the Jerks. Badwan is a great vocalist, snarling and spitting his way through lyrics that deliver on the imagery their name evokes, while the ghoulish background chants add a nice touch of Halloween-ish garishness. Tunes like "Excellent Choice” and "Gil Sleeping” show plenty of no wave detachment, while single "Count in Fives” has enough savvy to give them a serious hit, should they be interested. Something tells me they’re simply doing their thing with few expectations, as Strange House is an uncompromising listen that works as a victory for a band rooted in being disruptively psychotic. They’ve talked the talk and now they’re walking the walk. (Stolen Transmission)