Release Date: 04/05/09 Label: XL Recordings Website: http://thehorrors.co.uk Well kids, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for. The Horrors follow up to the much maligned Strange House illuminates the merit of ripping up the formula and starting again. Quite literally this album blows away the cobwebs, melts down the vinyl copies of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era and removes the ‘scary’ makeup with the graceful swipe of a Pampers wet wipe . When the first single ‘Sea Within A Sea’ arrived flaunting a motorik pace, the chin scratchers were proclaiming that The Horrors would be leading a krautrock revival, tempting us to once more delve deep into the back catalogue of Amon Düül II. Actually the sound of the album tends to lean closer towards eighties noise pop and shoegaze. Undeniably Primary Colours is a more credible, focussed piece of work than its predecessor, rendering Strange House childishly cartoonish in comparison. Portishead’s Geoff Barrow plays the Eno role with a few choice soundscapes borrowed from the second side of Bowie’s Low. His production is gorgeous, channelling drone and distortion into fervent channels of atmospheric desperation. Though front man Faris Badwan still sometimes pretends he is half Alan Vega, half The Birthday Party era Nick Cave; on Primary Colours he curbs his extroverted barking wails, instead appearing morose, somewhat subdued, stuck in a bittersweet melancholic time warp. His merry cohorts strangely lean towards the New Fast Automatic Daffodils, one of the forgotten bands of the early nineties. Though there are less subtle hints of My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3 and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Gone are the organs, replaced instead with dizzying synths, a foreboding bassline and disjointed layers of Loveless style feedback as ‘Mirror’s Image’ opens the album. ‘Three Decades’ scatters more dreamy distortion, the song makes you feel like you’re stuck on a Ferris Wheel whilst nose gripped on some funky mood drug that should be used to tranquilize Tigers. 'Who Can Say' is choc a block JAMC stomp, tinged with a sprinkle of tambourine, offset by a sinister fairground feel. Faris croons “And when I told her I didn’t love her anymore / She Cried” possibly this is about his great lost love, you know Bob Geldof’s daughter, the one who looks a bit like the cartoon dog Droopy. ‘Do You Remember’ disperses jangly eighties guitar which mashes together with an out of place Madchester strut. It is about this point in the album where you stop trying to guess the influences and reference points, ignoring the loud dissenting voices that suggest The Horrors are a pack of fly dilettantes, imitators rather than innovators; you just switch off, tune out and enjoy what a bloody marvellous job they’ve done. As the ominous, darkly dramatic ‘New Ice Age’ drips with euphoria. The album then slowly exhales for a spell with ‘Scarlet Fields’, a reflective, self flagellating head in hands effort “See yourself / Your image in the eyes of someone else”.  Perhaps too dreary is the tambourine led funeral march of ‘I Only Think of You’ best described as seven minutes of drawn out agony, arguably the most forced song on the album. Thankfully just when my 21st Century attention span gets stretched to its patience limit ‘I Can’t Control Myself’ affectionately hits with its lazy, bluesy sway. Then daylight breaks through the morose distortion cloud with ‘Primary Colours’, goodness gracious me, the song is cheery and optimistic. I imagine this is the kind of kick a SAD sufferer gets after spending half an hour in front of a light box. 'Sea Within A Sea', the single you probably all have heard by now closes off the album, the only song that remotely heads into krautrock territory. In a nutshell this track is a sigh of relief. Yes, we nearly all wrote The Horrors off as one album art school chancers, but after initially hearing this single we came away feeling a mix of hope, shame and curiosity. Primary Colours is not by any means a classic but it tells us not to light the torches. So let us put down our pitchforks and scrap any preconceived ideas we had about chasing these curious monsters out of town. Rating: 8/10