Pulling a remarkable 180 on their original batcave-cum-psychobilly sound, The Horrors reinvent themselves on this fascinating sophomore album. With Portishead‘s Geoff Barrow producing the record, the band’s original influences of the Cramps and the Birthday Party have mostly fallen away in favour of My Bloody Valentine’s tremolo-bending soundscapes and Joy Division’s monochrome gloom.
“Mirror’s Image”, “Scarlet Fields” and “Primary Colours” will grab anyone jonesing for a shoegaze fix, while the Love Will Tear Us Apart-indebted “Who Can Say” is a standout pop single. And yet, most of the record still pales into insignificance next to “Sea Within A Sea”. The 8-minute album-closing epic combines Kraftwerk-ian keyboards and Can-like Krautrock into a piece de resistance that defines the entire album.