This lot, however, are made of stronger stuff than that. Two years on from their debut, the band may still be better known for their Geldof links than their music, but on record number two they've come out with their bloodied fists raised and ready for battle. The casual disdain and sneers which greeted Strange House have cajoled the five-piece into making a record that will stun even their sternest critics. Helmed by Portishead genius/producer Geoff Barrow, Primary Colours takes the goth-shock antics of their first LP, chucks in some icy 80s synths, adds some Kevin Shields atmospherics and creates a psychedelic rock behemoth that sounds like a grotty patchwork of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & The Mary Chain and Echo & The Bunnymen's best bits.
Like a giant, jam-packed children's toy box, Primary Colours provides new twists and unexpected delights on each of its ten tracks. The scuzzy romance and haunting fairground Wurlitzer of lead single 'Who Can Say' has already surprised many listeners, but it was a mere indication of treats to come. The clash of robotic drums and hazy guitars on opener 'Mirror's Image', Badwan's unsettling baritone on the murky guitar rush of 'Do You Remember', and the dreamy shape-shifting whirl of 'Scarlet Fields' will startle those who believed The Horrors were nothing more than scenester poseurs.
Elsewhere, 'I Can't Control Myself' is an old-fashioned guitar racket that keeps building, layering and evolving until it splurges into an uncontrollable Spiritualized-esque cacophony. Even better is the title track, the closest the band come to fashioning a radio-friendly pop track. Badwan's grandiose lyrics ("Riding through town on a chariot high, glory adorned and immortalised in primary colours") combine with a sumptuous melody to add some light to the band's natural preference for shade. By the time the seven-minute album crescendo 'Sea Within A Sea' comes to its hazy, sunshine-drenched conclusion, any doubts as to whether The Horrors "mean it" or are "for real" have been vanquished. Their only worry now? With this new-found success, it can't be long before Peaches comes knocking again.