The Horrors, 'Primary Colours' (XL)

Critical Mass
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by Mikael Wood

These U.K. goth-garage ghouls made a splash in 2006 with "Sheena Is a Parasite," 100 seconds of strobe-seizure guitar and creepshow organ accompanied by a video in which actress Samantha Morton shimmied so hard her guts fell out. On their second full-length (produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead), the Horrors make an unexpected bid for art-rock respectability, building up neo-shoegaze soundscapes and stretching Krautrock-grooved closing track "Sea Within a Sea" to the eight-minute mark. The result boasts an admirably moody menace, but lacks the debut's darkly comic drive.

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