From indie rock provocateurs to synth-pop pioneers, The Horrors have come a long way since their 2006 debut. Over ten years later, the Southend-On-Sea five-piece are still evolving their sound, having previously moved on from shoegazing noise rock and forayed into more mellow waters. Last month, the band debuted new track ‘Machine’ from their upcoming fifth album V. ‘Machine’ is a return to the punky, more jagged sound first peddled on the band’s debut album, albeit with a far more sophisticated, textured arrangement. Now, the band have released the second (and closing) track from their upcoming album, the synth-led ‘Something To Remember Me By’.
‘Something To Remember Me By’ sees The Horrors in a reflective mood, the rambunctious guitars replaced by crooning synths, lead singer Faris Badwan singing wistfully over a glossy electronic set-up. There’s something reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys in the track’s upbeat but melancholy tone and also in Badwan’s vocal inflection, evoking the duo’s iconic sad-pop style. Clocking in at over six and a half minutes, it’s a long listen, but one that doesn’t overstay its welcome, drawing you in with its cushiony synth beat and catchy, affecting chorus.
The Horrors have often favoured prickly noise rock outbursts or drawn-out kaleidoscopic soundscapes over succinct choruses, making ‘Something To Remember Me By’ something of an anomaly. Despite the track’s length, this is one of The Horrors’ most straightforward pop songs to date, a triumphant and accomplished bit of synth-pop. While many Horrors singles rely on hooks and simple verse-chorus structures, they are often clouded by distorted vocals and challenging chord progressions, obscuring the basic pop principles beneath. ‘Something To Remember Me By’ is far more honest in its arrangement, however. A nostalgia-tinged sad-pop single, The Horrors shine on the closing track to their forthcoming album, an album that looks set to offer more gleaming production and a sound that favours pop clarity over murky noise rock.