It seems like Skying could be the moment that The Horrors step up to the big time. Primary Colours was a giant leap forward from Strange House. It was a bold, ambitious record that defied expectations, found them a new audience and was my favourite record of 2009. Sure, it wore its krautrock and My Bloody Valentine influences on its dark sleeve, but it used these touchpoints to create something that was truly them.

It means that Skying arrives with a lot of expectation; expectations to raise the bar again and cement The Horrors as a band who really mean something. And this time it’s all on them - at the behest of Geoff Barrow, they decided to write, record and produce the album entirely by themselves. Does Skying deliver then? To put it simply, yes and then some. It is a record that slides into and out of focus and rewards repeated listens; a journey of shifting sounds and textures that broadens and builds on Primary Colours.

From delicate, woozy brass floating over hypnotic grooves, to distorted psyche rock, Skying reveals a band who have emerged from the dark and, while not exactly multicolour, created a soundscape that embraces the blue sky, with the songs' hues and shades washing over you.

It starts with ‘Changing The Rain’, a fuzzy, windswept pop song, underneath layers of fuzz, the climax augmented by the handclaps and tambourines. It sets the tone for the first half of the album. ‘You Said’ is a swooning epic, shot through an 80s pop cannon, with Faris crooning ‘Gotta give me love, Gotta give me more’ over sweeping ‘oohs’. ‘I Can See Through You’ lifts off on the jets of the organ (I say organ, it’s hard to decipher what instruments are making what noises on the album most of the time) that propels a gigantic chorus. It will sound great live.

Things slow down with ‘Endless Blue’ as horns waft over an elongated opening but then, suddenly, guitars kick in and the song accelerates into a rocking, skuzzy anthem with a massive chorus. The accusations of baggy rear their head on ‘Dive In’. It’s the only track that doesn’t really work and is just about redeemed by the chorus and the stripped back ending.

The second half of the record begins with the tangled, sampled opening of ‘Still Life’. Everyone has already said it sounds like Simple Minds. The songs splashes of synths and graceful swagger make it a ‘big song’ in the very best meaning of that phrase. It’s 80s, it’s grandiose and it’s great. ‘Wild Eyed’ is a gentle, elegant song and the shortest one on the album: organ sounds, breathy, whispered vocals and delightful brass weave together as Faris sings ‘Bring your wonders to life’. The last three tracks take The Horrors somewhere else and might be the best stuff they’ve committed to record. Building on the template of ‘Sea Within A Sea’, ‘Moving Further Away’ is 8 minutes of motorik, dreamy new wave pop, built up then broken down then built right back up again. Basically what The Horrors do best. Half way through the break down, the sound of seagulls fly through the speakers until the motorik beat roars and the driving synths come back. It’s incredible.

‘Monica Gems’ is a Suede-aping 60s garage rocker with additional sonic weirdness. It works as a separate the two epic moments on the album.

The record climaxes with ‘Oceans Burning’. Again it nears 8-minutes with sounds merging to form a sleepy, otherwordly dreamscape, that morphs after the 5-minute mark into something else - fuzz and feedback - and then unfurling into a bouncy rhythm and Faris’ voice lost beneath a swirling sea of krautrock.

Then it ends and what you are left with is a weird, superb pop album. It is a sonic adventure that shows a willingness to push things forward and experiment with sounds; a panoramic, richly textured record that shows a band who continue to evolve. Skying proves The Horrors are very important – and they could be vital.

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