[4] The Horrors, ‘Sea Within A Sea’

This would have been a better Christmas No.1. It has droney vocals, seemingly endless monotony, a metronomic rhythm like the slow trundle around the Boxing Day M25, that pervading sense of doom – in all, it’s a real festive cockle-warmer. But of course it neither has *GASP* swearwords nor the relentless Cowell machine behind it, so there was never a snowball’s chance. And no one thought about it. Next year then.

The Horrors can comfort themselves with all the critical garlands they received for an impressive step forward. Only the gloom and occasional tough riff remained from their (pretty funny) goth-garage debut; otherwise, Primary Colours was a fug of glacial synths, Krautrock basslines and happy-go-lucky Joy Division ambience. ‘Sea Within A Sea’ was the astonishing curtain-raiser, galloping in on a Satanic groove, hanging around for five teasing minutes, then sailing away between banks of tinkling keyboards. It’s good.

“I like the singing,” came an atypical response, “but I don’t like the music.” She said that, but she performed a wafty indiegirl dance for the full seven minutes, with some slapstick falling-over thrown in. Slapstick. It’s what The Horrors are all about.

Wicked stone (man):