published: 3 /
Flawed third album from Swedish band the Horror The Horror which finds them moving into indie dance territory with mixed results
‘Wilderness’ is the third album from Sweden’s the Horror The Horror, and finds them adding eighties pop-stylings where once there was an unmistakable Strokes influence.
These are songs that aim unashamedly for the modern indie dance floor – jaunty indiepop guitar with vocals that could have come straight from Razorlight, melancholic verses bursting into sing-along choruses.
'Believe in Magic' sums up the album perfectly – the lyrics seem to be yearning for something, but it’s never made too specific just what. The almost generic indie arrangement is spiced up by polite nods to 80s stadium rock, and there is a guitar breakdown that could have been lifted straight from Prefab Sprout’s 'Steve McQueen'.
The bright and breezy tone is the album’s strength. Instead of drowning the songs in power chords, they leave plenty of room for the dextrous instrumental work to shine through. That means that 'The Forest' – a fairly conventional tune – swings between funk and disco, before a guitar solo and an Arcade Fire-styled breakdown.
Time and again, there are guitar lines that never quite do what you expect to do, and it’s nice to hear drums that don’t pound away in the background, but are often used to take a song in a new direction. It’s a shame, then, that so many good ideas are put to use on what is often generic material. There’s nothing awful here, but nor are there songs you’ll be desperate to hear over and over.
You wish that the Horror The Horror had thrown off any lingering ambitions for their albums to be filed next to trendy indie bands, and instead embraced pop wholeheartedly.
Believe In Magic
Feel It Burning Inside
Out Of Here