The Horrors, an English band from the very Westeros-sounding Southend on Sea, debuted in 2007 with a screechy single "Sheena is a Parasite" that seemed poised to define them as a band. They have a name that wouldn't feel out of place at a Fangoria convention, an aggressive howl of a lead single, and a video helmed by nightmare-inducing auteur Chris Cunningham that seemed to co-star the face-hugger from the Alien films. My how things have changed. On their third album (their first since 2009's haunting, Geoff Barrow-produced Primary Colours), the band has changed completely, casting off the dusty, neo-gothic shroud and embracing a dreamy, widescreen pop sheen. The tone is set quickly on Skying, with album opener "Changing the Rain" featuring a soulful chorus and a lazy, jazzy beat. On "I Can See Through You," a subtle psychedelic rock component is introduced, perfect for smoky summer barbeques, elsewhere (on "Endless Blue") yacht-rock horns pop up, and "Moving Further Away" is a singalong joy. The album as a whole is stunning and gorgeous but never too neatly manicured. They may have left the darkness behind them, but the Horrors still have bite.
CD of the Week: The Horrors' 'Skying'
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