Once seen as a joke band, the Horrors are – perhaps surprisingly – on album No 5 in just over a decade. Armed with two chords and the skinniest legs this side of a sparrow convention, the British electro-goth rockers were not expected to last much past their punkish debut, Strange House (2007). But, with each subsequent outing, they have proven to be more than overhyped pretenders with fabulous hair.
Produced by arena-pop maestro Paul Epworth (who has also delivered for Adele and Coldplay), V is the follow-up to 2014’s Luminous (arguably the Horrors’ only misstep), and it’s clear he encouraged the doom-pop quintet to embrace the big chorus with swagger. The synth-pulsing lead single, Machine, and infectious Something to Remember Me By deserve to elevate the band to Depeche Mode-level arena stardom. Frontman Faris Badwan’s brooding vocals sound at once huge and vulnerable, and hang over industrial beats, hazy synths and distorted guitars to create the Horrors’ most intriguing album to date.