Strange House review by The Horrors

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Mar 8, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (60 votes)
The Horrors: Strange House
1

Sound — 8
They characterize themselves as Psychotic Sound For Freaks And Weirdos and that's pretty much what they sound like. The debut album by UK psychos Strange House is for you to decide if you're a weirdo, a freak or a turn this noise off person.

The Horrors were formed in 2005 due to the band members' shared passion for 60s garage rock. In their 2007 debut the band stays true to the style, varying it with goth anthems, spooky sounds and everything else that come to their minds. In the best theatrical traditions the guys turn everything into drama -- putting on a drunk slut makeup, wearing jeans so tight their legs could disappear behind a microphone rack and changing their real names to Rotter, Third, Furse, Spider and Coffin. What a nice company!

It's not that hard to create a distinctive sound of your band when you can make guitar pedals yourself! Having a degree in Physics, Joshua Third creates distinctive pedals and distinctive sound for The Horrors. The band also varies a usual rock formula of guitar, bass and drums, with a combo organ!

The album starts by paying off to the influences -- with spook rockers Lord Sutch's hit Jack The Ripper, but the pay-off doesn't finish with this one song. If you listen close, you'll find bits of different influences on the album -- like the main riff in Gloves that sounds a lot like Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirits, just in different keynote; rockabilly in She Is The New Thing or debut single Sheena Is A Parasite that reminds you of Ramones' Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. Almost danceable She Is The New Thing has got an infectious guitar riff and ends in agony.

God knows where they get those sounds from, but it can make you shiver. The end of Gil Sleeping is especially gross. The album was produced by Jim Sclavunos (The Bad Seeds) and that only adds to the gloomy atmosphere of the record.

Lyrics — 7
As well as music, the lyrics are very complicated, unusual and obscure. You try to understand what the song is about for the first half of it and finally give up, talking it as just words without any particular meaning. One thing is clear -- the band will try to scary you in any possible way.

You won't need any vocal abilities to sing like The Horrors' vocalist Faris Rotter. Most of the time he's just expressing his emotions -- barking, puking, screaming hysterically, talking like a maniac to his victim. When he's trying to sing, he doesn't get much success in it often missing notes. Not that a singing type of guy would be expected from such band, but it could be a nice bonus.

Overall Impression — 8
Take The Cure looks, '60s horror movies, add some pure noise, a bit of Rammstein and Vox organ, base it all on '60s garage rockers the Sonics -- you get The Horrors! Trying to create an unforgettable image, the band overdid it a little bit -- their horrifying image attracts more attention than their music. But that doesn't mean the music is not worth it. It may sound unpleasant or unusual, even make you shiver, but interesting and great after all. All of this reminds a Halloween party in a funny house -- a bunch of strangely sounding instruments, psychotic vocalist, wounding back vocals. Listen to the CD five times in a row and you'll find yourself acting strange, pretending you're one of them (I just experienced that). With their uncomfortable music The Horrors challenge nowadays solid and organic music scene.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    lildrummerboy
    Do they need the makeup? Really? I love the artsy stuff, but a lot of it is just image, for instance: "The debut album by UK psychos Strange House is for you to decide if youre a weirdo, a freak or a turn this noise off person" shows they are trying to sell you an album solely because they are Goth (I was going to use different, but thats not true at all, different would be NOT wearing makeup). I do like the idea of an organ, and his own pedals, but you don't need the image, just go make some music.
    NetStar
    I would wite a full review, But I'm very tired... What I will say is that this Album was miles better than I could have anticipated. Who cares about scenes and what brand of eyeliner they use? The music is f*****g great. Live, the experience is truely mind blowing. Yeah, it's not radio friendly and there are probably many bands out there with more musical talent, but without getting all deep, this record is Weapon.
    Deek_13
    Live, the experience is truely mind blowing. there the worst band ive seen by miles, ive seen them twice so it wasnt jsut a one off bad gig. They were shite, each one of them has the stage presance of a piece of cheese! the pedals are hardly hard to make, what he does is opens them up and randomly solders bits together any joe with half a brain and a soldering iron could do it!
    FlameIbrah
    lildrummerboy wrote: Do they need the makeup? Really? I love the artsy stuff, but a lot of it is just image, for instance: "The debut album by UK psychos Strange House is for you to decide if youre a weirdo, a freak or a turn this noise off person" shows they are trying to sell you an album solely because they are Goth (I was going to use different, but thats not true at all, different would be NOT wearing makeup). I do like the idea of an organ, and his own pedals, but you don't need the image, just go make some music.
    Here's a lessonon a goodmusical performance: make sure you have a good aesthetic togo with yourmusic. Image can be just as important asthe music(depending on the band) this just happens to be one of those image based bands. the music somehow gets a bit better with them looking the way they do. it wouldn'tmake much sense if they were all regular dudes wearing t-shirts.
    Crazy B
    FlameIbrah wrote: lildrummerboy wrote: Do they need the makeup? Really? I love the artsy stuff, but a lot of it is just image, for instance: "The debut album by UK psychos Strange House is for you to decide if youre a weirdo, a freak or a turn this noise off person" shows they are trying to sell you an album solely because they are Goth (I was going to use different, but thats not true at all, different would be NOT wearing makeup). I do like the idea of an organ, and his own pedals, but you don't need the image, just go make some music. Here's a lessonon a goodmusical performance: make sure you have a good aesthetic togo with yourmusic. Image can be just as important asthe music(depending on the band) this just happens to be one of those image based bands. the music somehow gets a bit better with them looking the way they do. it wouldn'tmake much sense if they were all regular dudes wearing t-shirts.
    You're a tool of the highest order! To be honest I'd find it more alluring if they dressed "like regular dudes" as you put it. That way I'd know the music I'm listening to isn't produced by image obsessed morons. I prefer what I'm listening to to be done with integrity and honesty, something severely lacking in todays music. Ah well, each to their own.
    Mistakensam
    Okay, i'm not a big fan of their music although they have a couple of catchy songs, but image can be important when it comes to a band. The music should speak for itself but if you played at a show for example, and there were like 10 other bands playing, how would the crowd remember you? They'd be like "Hey remember that one band where they all wore black" or "Remember that one band that they all wore/had (insert article)?" Eye-catcher. You have to have ppl remember you. Like i said, i'm not saying the music isn't important because that's pretty much most of what should be good, but image can be important also. If you were in a band, wouldn't you wanna be remembered?
    avengingender
    Personally, I think this music blows...hard. I really wonder how this is characterized as punk or "surf" music. This music couldn't be characterized any better than words like "It just completely sucks...nothing good I can say about it...worst crap I have heard in a long time." Bottom line...this music is lame. Just a bunch of scene kids that wanna put together a bunch of meaningless junk and hype it up claiming they are huge in Europe (which I really doubt). Totally sucks.
    idpod
    I think this album was cool as! its very different from normal music today, what with the organs and all...