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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Sea Within A Sea

Review of The Horrors' Primary Colours

Photo By Tom BeardTom 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.

Video: The Horrors – “Sea Within A Sea”
Stream: The Horrors / Primary Colours
MySpace: The Horrors

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.

MP3: Magic Wands – “Black Magic”

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”.

Artrocker talks to Maximo Park about the making of their new album Quicken The Heart, which is due out May 12.

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.

MP3: Jarvis Cocker – “Angela”

Wireless Bollinger interviews Andrew Innes of Primal Scream.

Black Book interviews Polly Jean Harvey.

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.

There’s a twopart interview with Super Furry Animals. The 48-minute doc to accompany their new album Dark Days/Light Years is currently streaming at Pitchfork.

Video: Super Furry Animals: Dark Days Light Years

The Citizen-Times converses with Barry Burns of Mogwai. They’re at the Phoenix on May 4.

New Pixies record this Summer? Maybe. Update: Not.

Au Revoir Simone have a new record forthcoming in Still Night, Still Light, out May 19, and have scheduled a tour to support, including a May 21 date at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: Au Revoir Simone – “A Violent Yet Flammable World”

Portland acoustic pop duo Blind Pilot will be in town at the El Mocambo on June 12, tickets $10.50.

MP3: Blind Pilot – “Go On, Say It”

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: The Enemy – “No Time For Tears”

Dave Lowery and Cracker are back, with a new album in Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey and a tour that now includes a June 23 date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, tickets $20.50.

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.

MP3: The Paper Chase – “What Should We Do With Your Body? (The Lightning)”

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.

NPR is streaming the whole of St Vincent’s new album Actor in advance of its official release on May 5. Annie Clark talks to Womens Wear Daily about her music and wardrobe.

Stream: St Vincent / Actor

Magnet welcomes Superchunk/Portastatic/Merge-man Mac McCaughan into their guest editor’s seat this week with a Q&A about the return of the ‘Chunk and Merge’s 20th anniversary festivities.

The Guardian considers the current wave of female pop artists garnering success in the UK, including Ladyhawke, Little Boots and La Roux.

By : Frank Yang at 8:16 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. Hakim Callier says:

    There is a ton of great music here!

    -Hakim

  2. Graveyard Fields says:

    Au Revoir Simone’s “A Violent Yet Flammable World” is one of the best songs of this decade. I have never had such a what-beautiful-yet-disorienting-world-produced-this-music kind of moment as I had when I first heard it.