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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, May 6th, 2014

The Horrors: Luminous

horrorsThe Horrors
Luminous
(XL)

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Luminous is the name of the new album by The Horrors. It’s as if they’re saying, “I know we’re called The Horrors, but we really aren’t that dark anymore. We’re a much different band than the one who made our first two albums.” Which is true, of course. This album is much more in league with 2011’s Skying, but they would still rather experiment than settle on a style. The Horrors are the sole credited producers here and it sounds like they’re having a blast, trying anything and everything to shape these ten tracks. They’ve grown tremendously and worked extremely hard over the course of four albums, plus they seem to have amassed an impressive collection of keyboards and guitar pedals so they are really good at creating atmosphere. This comes as a detriment early in the album. The ambiance is thick and the instrumentation intriguing, but there aren’t really any strong melodies or hooks to grab on to. Opener “Chasing Shadows” begins with almost three minutes of synths and electronics, building to a not particularly memorable song. This all changes in the middle of the album however.

“Jealous Sun” is the welcome bright spot (pardon the pun), both noisy and strangely beautiful; it’s the Jesus and Mary Chain by way of My Bloody Valentine. On a song like this, the thick atmosphere bolsters the songwriting rather than just being window dressing. The following three songs are all almost as good. “Falling Star” uses weird sounds as a building block while “I See You” is an enjoyable new wave pastiche. Luminous is not The Horrors’ finest effort to date, but it’s not a bad addition to their discography. If the middle chunk was an EP, I would have rated it higher, but I still think this is worthwhile if you are already a fan.

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The Horrors: Luminous