Published by METRO
Tomorrow (15 May), 7pm, £14, O2 ABC, Glasgow. Tel: 0844 477 2000. www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk
VIDEO: The Horrors - Changing the Rain (Skying, 2011)
Haha! Look at these jokers. Doesn’t everything about them – the ball-hugging drainpipes, the bonkers barnets, the deadpan expressions – just yearn pathetically for your attention? They symbolise everything that’s wrong with an indie mainstream that puts style before substance.
But hang on a minute, have you actually heard their music? It’s actually rather good.
Comprised of Faris Badwan (vocals), Tom Furse (bass/synth), Joshua Third (guitar), Rhys Webb (organ) and Coffin Joe (drums), these Southend-spawned rockers have more than proved their worth since bursting on to the scene back in 2005 – winning over the many critics unimpressed by their initial hype.
Undoubtedly on an upwards slope, the band’s sound has developed from noughties garage punk to a timeless and wider-reaching form of alternative rock music – and they remain well within their depth.
With Badwan’s resonant voice working a Bryan Ferry-esque command over squealing guitars, playful synth and slick rhythms – these guys are doing wonderful things with the big beats of electronica, dream pop and new wave. Plus with all their members still the right side of 30, it’s exciting to imagine what they might be capable of in the future.
If the trajectory of their career so far is anything to go by, things look very promising indeed. The group’s hit-and-miss debut LP Strange House was followed up by Primary Colours, which was nominated for – and probably deserved to win – a Mercury Prize.
Their latest offering is the critically-acclaimed Skying – an album the five-piece produced and recorded at their own self-built studio in London’s Dalston. It features the singles Still Life, I Can See Through You, Changing The Rain, and seven other tracks so great they’ll have you jamming one-handed on an air keyboard – as your headphones trap you in a fake world in which you’re performing in front of crowds of nasty old school teachers who never expected you to come good. Oh, just me?
After an extensive world tour that has seen them play across four continents, and before a host of summer festival dates that include Leeds/Reading, Latitude, Benicassim and Bestival – these lads drop into Glasgow. Thank goodness they don’t do tired.
You’d be quite right not to trust a Glasgow weatherman at this time of year, but take it from me – this bunch will bring a ray of sunshine to the city when they bring their genius (and hair products) to O2 ABC tomorrow night.
In a way, the physical appearance of The Horrors is not at all misleading, because it’s as arresting as their music. But style over substance? You’ve got to be kidding. Now go to your room, I’ll shout you when dinner’s ready.