The Horrors’ pantomime-Cramps shtick and ropey 2007 debut had seen them sniffily dismissed and quietly filed away under overhyped, overstyled and over. So in a decade that’s been low on musical surprises, the slew of positive reviews garnered by their second album took place against a borderline-hysterical backdrop of various hats being eaten. As gratifying as backtracking by their detractors must have been, on the slab of intrepid post-punk Who Can Say? the band sound self-aware and self-assured enough to do without external validation. The song wears its influences unabashedly, draped in a swathe of My Bloody Valentine guitars and relentlessly dour vocals. There’s also a po-faced spoken-word break that keeps the song’s head above the backwash of 80s revivalism, scraping off the panstick to reveal as much substance as style.
[Album: Primary Colours]