One of Britain’s most peculiar mainstream exports – adored at home, but almost unknown in North America – The Horrors bring their third album Skying across the Atlantic poised to conquer. The homeland hype was promising, but there’s no denying the record is underwhelming, if not down-right disappointing. This spiky five-piece brings their awkward swagger in bushels, crooning and swaying with one collective voice, but where that voice takes you will depend on what you’re looking for.

If you’re tacking adjectives to an album, it’s vague, murky, ill-defined, and, almost, uplifting. The driving punk sound of earlier material is exorcised, and in its place a low-fi fuzz is prominent. There are almost no instrumental hooks, no clashing tempos or dynamic rhythms, and Faris’ voice is sifted to the foreground alongside a shimmering guitar/synth duo. The heavy bass provides momentum, but that momentum – “Monica Gems” being the only exception – never amounts to much.

And after dozens of listens and spins, Skying comes across much like that ‘winged, fickle, sacred thing.’ More like a poem than prose, and definitely as hard to define. It’s a solid, soothing album, but it never grabs for much more; never threatens to overwhelm. And that’s probably how this record is destined to deliver; beautiful but never visceral, charming but never much more than a summer romance. And since its September, that’s not really doing it for me anymore.

Track Listing:

01. Changing the Rain
02. You Said
03. I Can See Through You
04. Endless Blue
05. Dive In
06. Still Life
07. Wild Eyed
08. Moving Further Away
09. Monica Gems
10. Oceans Burning

Time: 54:36
Release Date: August 09, 2011

Check out the song: “Still Life”