The Horrors – 'Luminous'
The band’s songwriting confidence, which ebbed and flowed on 2011’s ‘Skying’, reaches new heights here. The sublime ‘So Now You Know’ is probably the most ‘pop’ song The Horrors have ever written – but ‘Luminous’ is also admirably envelope-pushing. It takes real balls to begin what’s ostensibly an indie rock album with almost three minutes of semi-ambient electronics and percussion. Opening track ‘Chasing Shadows’ not only pulls it off, but goes on to become a synth-gazing stand-out track.
That said (and even though it’s a crashing contradiction in terms) practically every track on ‘Luminous’ is some sort of highlight. The dance floor-ready ‘In and Out of Sight’ flickers and shimmers enthrallingly, ‘Jealous Sun’ packs a monstrous, sickly shoegazing riff, and ‘I See You’ builds and builds into an overwhelming coda – before ‘Change Your Mind’ uses a skeletal verse to prove that The Horrors don’t have to be big to be clever.
It looked after ‘Skying’ as though The Horrors were on the cusp of something brilliant, but ‘Luminous’ shines even brighter than anyone had any right to anticipate. Our only worry is how they’re going to top it next time around. Then again, if there’s one thing they’ve always been good at…
What do you think of ‘Luminous’? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.
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Here’s what happens when Dreambagsjaguarshoes grows up, packs its bags and moves to Dalston. The Victoria is now owned by the same people as the perennially cool and grungy Shoreditch hangout, and probably represents a mellowing out with age – it’s a pub, it’s more relaxed, it stages live music, and it’s on a backstreet off Dalston Lane instead of the illuminated strip down the road. As a pub, it’s decent – an artily thrown-together look, a few local beers (although not many), and a ‘residency’ from peripatetic grillers Psychic Burger. It’s a misleading name – I sat thinking about what I wanted to eat for half an hour before having to go up and order at the bar in the old-fashioned way. But as US diner food in plastic trays goes, it’s a fine example of its type. Through the back of the pub is the stage, where assorted bands assemble to perform. The Victoria has been a scuzzily democratic live music venue for decades, so it’s great that the new owners kept that going and didn’t turn the room into a dining room/yoga space/Tesco Metro.
Venue says: “Jul 20: Dream Nails/Screaming Toenails. Jul 21: Husky Loops and guests. Jul 28: Atjazz Records. Happy Minutes with house products £3.50!”