Fourth studio album Luminous from The Horrors is an electro-rock album from the UK indie five piece – indie, rock, acid-rock, psychedelic, garage punk – they’ve been many shades. While their last studio album contained a more dynamic track offering, Luminous has taken a greater step toward the electronic world.
Luminous is a bit of a musicians record, most tracks are over the five-minute mark and there are long phases of instrumentals. What they’ve done well is still manage to create something relatively friendly for the everyman, it allows for easy listening in some aspects and you can lose yourself throughout. Faris Badwan’s tonal delivery really does sound like Ian Curtis, its quite pleasant.
The album commences with a soft and subtle start, building ever so slightly and paying homage to the album cover with its space like sound. You can imagine this opening a show, mysterious smoke emanating around the band members. For an album to begin with a 6:50 track (Chasing Shadows) you kind of know what you’re in for; not until nearly the third minute does the track pick up pace and the whole band comes in. The opening is enjoyable; simple at the start while the complexity behind the sound layers is engaging.
Peaceful tracks like So Now You Know and Change Your Mind are positioned well to break up the more electronically intense songs and offer a bit more of a soft indie rock feel. Change Your Mind is a beautiful track full of light, captivating sounds and Badwan’s own melodic style stringing you through the song. In And Out Of Sight is an example of an okay track with a hypnotizing pace that is just a bit repetitive. This repetitive element shows up several times throughout the record.
I’ve got to admit, by track three you feel as though you’ve listened to an entire album. The record lacks in significant variation across a lot of the songs, there are natural electronic variances and more prominent guitar/keyboard elements but as a whole it has been created as one big experience – one big track! That isn’t always something to complain about, in comparing it with Skying you are getting something much different.
The Horrors have delivered on an electronica album but it is a version of this sound that has been around since bands began transitioning within the genre. Despite these minor pitfalls, it is an enjoyable album; not mind blowing or genre altering but it does offer a musical experience. Luminous is a trippy addition to the bands colourful catalogue – I advise you to listen through in one sitting, even close your eyes for parts and see where the mind takes you.