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.