Southend-On-Sea’s The Horrors rose and fell very fast in their native Blighty, with high hype and dashed hopes behind their 2007 debut Strange House – only to rebound in the best of ways two years later with Primary Colours (QRO review), earning a Mercury Prize nomination and ‘Best of 2009’ by NME. Thankfully, this time around, the band has kept their career mellower, with strong follow-ups 2011’s Skying (QRO review) and now Luminous.
With a name like The Horrors, you’d expect them to be all dark and goth, and while they may look that way (QRO photos), the sound on the new record is more Luminous. Sure, there are a few darker numbers, like “In and Out of Sight” and “Jealous Sun”, but those back-to-back tracks are the record’s low point – far better is when the band brightens, such as on the near-jangle-pop (still with effects) “First Day of Spring” or the slightly pushing indie-dance glow “I See You”. The cheer can be done wryly (“Falling Star”), or the give-up sly (“Change Your Mind”), but this is an uplifting record.
Despite appearances and early history, The Horrors have a bright, Luminous path.