The Horrors – Primary Colours
If someone had told us we’d be putting The Horror’s second album as our album of the year we would have laughed in their face, simultaneously spraying them with spittle and generally making them look like a laughing stock. And yet, Primary Colours is such a monumental piece of work that even if you think they look like a bunch of malnourished Tim Burton clones, it’s impossible to deny the results. Cynics have suggested that the quality is down to Geoff Barrow, he of Portishead fame, who came on board as producer, and though his fingerprints are all over it – the creeping keyboard figure that rises out of ‘Sea Within a Sea’ was similarly used on last year’s Third – the songs are key, and luckily they’re more than amazing. From the slow-burning opening of ‘Mirror’s Image’ to the propulsive, Can-esque drive of ‘Sea Within a Sea’, Primary Colours takes the template of their debut and piles on layers of keyboards, treated guitars and in amongst the noise, Faris Badwan’s strangled vocals. ‘Who Can Say’ managed to overcome the nagging thought that it might have been about Peaches Gelfof by being just about the best thing we heard all year, an exciting mix of Motown-esque drums, dramatic pauses and a keyboard riff from pop heaven. ‘New Ice Age’ and ‘Three Decades’ resembled the best songs from their debut only much better, whilst the heady keyboard swirls of ‘Scarlet Fields’ saw them playing with different textures. So, there you have it. The second album by a band written off as a joke has won the coveted Musick album of 2009 award. Next year, put your bets on Scouting For Girls.
Key track: ‘Who Can Say’