The Horrors have never sounded quite so ‘fluid’.
The Horrors albums have always been somewhat of a challenge for me to face, especially when I see the running time of some of their albums. Luminous is no different with a serious time killer amount of 52 minutes! However, despite these herculean tasks, The Horrors fully utilised every second they had on their third LP, Skying. Oozing electronics, dripped onto calmed guitar tones on Still Life, Skying’s lead track, which propelled the album to stadium status (even if the band themselves aren’t a fan of stadiums). Fourth time round, The Horrors had nothing to prove. They started out as goth-punks. Then became a more enlightened post-goth-punk group, before becoming psych-goth on Skying. Now on Luminous, The Horrors are becoming a completely different bad.
Chasing Shadows begins Luminous’ immersive story with symbiotic synthesisers from Skying, as this musical representation of Avatar’s Pandora begins. Just before you become complacent in the thought of an album that is just going to be a familiar attempt at lucid dreaming, the energy of the big bang appears as Chasing Shadows explodes with energy forming a new track altogether. Alongside Faris’ vocals, The Horrors really couldn’t have begun Luminous any more spectacularly.
Then on the third track, you get the second single from Luminous, So Now You Know, truly one of The Horrors most remarkable tracks to date, just missing out on the behemoths of Sea Within A Sea and Still Life. The chorus of scaling, droned out synth tones hiding behind Faris’ grand stature (quite literally) falls beautifully between the nostalgia of Primary Colours and the dreamy pop tones from Skying’s most immersive tracks.
The fluidity of Luminous is truly apparent from Jealous Sun onwards, with Jealous Sun standing out as the bands most ‘experimental’ track, with an electrolysed string section squealing in synchronisation with Faris’ rising and falling vocals. Whilst Falling Star feels uncomfortably close to Monica Gems, with the only difference being Falling Star has more of a girl with a flower crown dancing in a field to Florence and the Machine, rather than the effortlessly cool, guitar punches with a trippy vocal presentation.
Now the longest track on an album is normally the most rewarding. However long this track may be, the love, thought and perfectionism that go into a 6 minute + track, are normally a deal breaker. And as you know, I See You is no exception to this rule. With psychedelic wob tones presented alongside glistening electronics and post-pop rhythms, it’s a mystery how The Horrors can continuously produce interminable tracks that stay rooted in your mind for weeks on end.
A single play through of Luminous is all you need to recognise the albums amazing escapade. Luminous truly absorbs every glimpse of light from the world, and projects it all into your brain as you listen. It feels as if you’re dying but in the most perpetually, blissful way possible. It’s lucid dreaming, but you’re even more aware of what’s going on around your earth-bound body. The only problem I find with Luminous, is the close relationship it shares with Skying. They’re incredibly talented to produce four albums, each of their own accolades, and it’s not fair to expect a genre shift on each album, with slow progressive genre changes being either the making or breaking, of incredible legacies. From their goth-punk beginnings to their now main stage, psych-goth-post-pop rockers (whatever), it feels as if, The Horrors have finally found their muse. And now they’ve moved from their genre shift stage to the slow progressive change they’re currently in, my major worry is are they just going to keep reproducing the same album over and over again. Or am I just conceded in the fact that I truly wish for this genre shift each time round?