Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Sea Within A Sea
Review of The Horrors' Primary Colours
Tom BeardI didn’t pay much attention to London’s The Horrors when the released their debut album Strange House in 2007 because, well, they had a bad name, worse stage names and looked ridiculous and I’m shallow like that. No apologies. A few years on and the name is still bad but the pseudonyms are gone and they look somewhat less ridiculous and have a new album out in Primary Colours in a couple weeks. And you know what? It’s interesting.
Produced by Geoff Barrow, the Kraut-gaze sound that dominates things isn’t the most natural amalgam of sounds, but the resultant gritty, metallic dronescape works pretty well. It can get somewhat texturally monochromatic over 45 minutes, but they sensibly inject poppy pit stops like the title track at key points through the proceedings. Faris Badwan’s vocals are from the Peter Murphy/Richard Butler school of emoting but with a pleasantly raw quality that I wasn’t expecting – I thought he’d sound more theatrical or overwrought. The record hasn’t worked its way into heavy rotation by any means, but it also doesn’t make me not want to listen to it. That may sound like faint praise, but considering the amount of stuff that I hear that DOES make me not want to listen to it, it’s actually something of a compliment. I’ll be spending more time with it in advance of their show at the Phoenix on May 7 when they open up for The Kills.
You can spend some time with it now as Spinner is streaming the thing in its entirety. There’s also a rather grandiose video for the first single, which you can also download at their website in exchange for your email. Gigwise and NME both assembled track-by-track reviews of the record and NME also has a portion of a feature interview with the band.
The third band on that Kills/Horrors bill, Magic Wands, have made a track from their debut EP Magic Love And Dreams available to download. It’s out May 25.
Drowned In Sound has declared this week “Shoegaze Week”, and obviously I’m not going to argue. They kick things off by interviewing he whose song gave this site its name, Mark Gardener, formerly of Ride, and cover all the bases including THAT one, and the answer remains the same – “There is no plan to reform Ride at present and we’re all busy and very much involved in projects that we’re all doing now”.
Jarvis Cocker has a new website, and I find the video there far more engrossing than any right-minded person really should. Look out for the “V”, Jarv! He also gives The Guardian the soundtrack of his life. His new record Further Complications is out May 19 and the first released MP3 sounds like this.
The Daily Mail interviews Polly Scattergood, whose self-titled debut is out in North America on May 19. There’s various remixes of her new single “Please Don’t Touch” by The Golden Filter up for grabs at Pitchfork, Stereogum and Gorilla Vs Bear.
Portland acoustic pop duo Blind Pilot will be in town at the El Mocambo on June 12, tickets $10.50.
That Passion Pit/Harlem Shakes show on June 16 is now confirmed – it’s happening at Lee’s Palace. Passion Pit have released a new video from Manners, out May 19, to celebrate their third attempt to play Toronto this year.
Video: Passion Pit – “The Reeling”
Apparently The Enemy are quite the deal back in Britain – their debut was #1 in the UK and has gone platinum there, their follow up Music For The People is out next week – but I don’t think I’d ever heard of them until the press release announcing their show at the Mod Club in Toronto on June 19 showed up in my inbox. Is this something I should be ashamed or or thankful for? I’m kinda leaning towards the latter. Tickets for the show are $18.50.
Video: Cracker – “Yalla Yalla”
Dallas’ The Paper Chase are releasing a double album this year in two parts – the first half, Someday This Could All Be Yours (Volume One) – is set for release May 12 and they’ll play the Drake Underground on June 29, tickets $11.
Gibson Guitars deconstructs the ingredients of Wilco’s live guitar sound without any particular brand bias. Which is good for them, because I won’t be having anyone talking smack about Nels or his Jazzmaster.
Stream: St Vincent / Actor
Tags: Au Revoir Simone, Blind Pilot, Cracker, Enemy, Harlem Shakes, Horrors, Jarvis Cocker, La Roux, Ladyhawke, Little Boots, Magic Wands, Mark Gardener, Maximo Park, Mogwai, Paper Chase, Passion Pit, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Polly Scattergood, Portastatic, Primal Scream, Ride, St Vincent, Super Furry Animals, Superchunk, Wilco