For many, our introduction to The Horrors was through their Chris Cunningham directed video for "Sheena Is A Parasite." The manic goth song was paired with some mighty disturbing visuals. I was intrigued, anxious to finally hear their debut album, Strange House, which finally has a home here in the US.
The genre of goth has been in need of a makeover over the last few years, as our beloved icons of Robert Smith, Siouxsie Sioux and Peter Murphy edge closer and closer to retirement. These days, the kids watch 30 Seconds To Mars and see Jared Leto with eyeliner and think, hey... this must be goth! No kids, it is not. While I am far from an expert, the vibe, sound and look of The Horrors is much more in line with the glory days of Bauhaus and Pornography era Cure than most of the other bands that have crept through my headphones in quite some time.
The band member names are a bit on the goofy side, with frontman Faris Rotter, guitarist Joshua Third, bassist Tomethy Furse, organist Spider Webb and drummer Coffin Joe. Of course, would you really want a gothic garage band to use their real names? Nah, this is a bit more fun.
When you get past the gothic clothing and intesting-spewing videos, you are left with a mighty great album, Strange House, that can only be called garagesurfgoth. Their album kicks off with the sanity that is their rendition of Screaming Lord Sutch's "Jack The Ripper." At first the tempo creeps along, with Rotter doing a mighty good take on the angrier side of early Bauhaus, which explodes into a frenzy as the pedal hits the metal on this crazy opener. They keep up the pace on "Count In Fives," slathered in thick Addams Family style organ and warbled guitars. Think early Zutons, without the saxophone, and with a gruff voiced frontman. This is the type of shit that zombies would party to.
The cool thing about The Horrors is that beyond all their ridiculous stage antics and Halloween-fueled lyrics, they have some great songs. Strange House could have been a collection of mediocre tunes that only come to life with their live shock value, but this is not the case. If you are in need of some good ol' spook rock, The Horrors should satisfy that craving.
"Sheena Is A Parasite"
"Count In Fives"