Album: The Horrors, Primary Colours (XL)

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The Independent Culture

When The Horrors' debut Strange House was released in 2007, I described it as sounding like something you might end up with if you were to hold a Goth Idol talent contest.

Sadly, the situation remains unchanged for the inaptly-named Primary Colours (as in any colour you want, so long as it's black), despite the assistance of Chris Cunningham and Portishead's Geoff Barrow.

It's still all leather trousers and mascara, and music that seeks to antagonise through formulaic doomy indie-isms, but actually sounds like the charmless posturing of third-rate Bauhaus and Stooges copyists on tracks such as the grim, grey "New Ice Age". Opener "Mirror's Image" wields smeary backwards guitar over an undulating keyboard hook, while singer Faris Badwan (formerly Faris Rotter!) tries to persuade us to "walk on into the night". It's awful.

This, however, turns out to be the high point of the album, as the dissonant grind of tracks such as "I Only Think Of You" and the buzzy, organ-driven "Who Can Say" plumb deepening depths. Laced with feedback but bereft of melodic appeal, the latter recalls The Jesus And Mary Chain on a particularly tuneless day, while Badwan's ambivalent suggestion, "Maybe it's better I've gone away – maybe it's not, who can say?" is sure to draw a rousing affirmative response. Stupendously terrible.

Download this: "Mirror's Image"