If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past few years, you’ve likely been made very familiar with London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. Comprised of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), the British indie rock quintet can trace their origins back to the early 00s and shared interest in obscure vinyl and DJing; in fact as the story goes, Webb met Badwan, who was a member of The Rotters and Cowan met during repeated trips back and forth from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London, and the band’s founding trio bonded over a mutual appreciation of 60s garage rock, new wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus.
By 2005, Badwan, Cowan and Webb recruited Hayward and Spurgeon to fill out the band’s lineup, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics‘ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Interestingly enough, their 2007 debut effort, Strange House featured the garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the band’s first two singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of both the national press and fans. Since then the band’s each of the band’s first four albums — their aforementioned debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous have all charted within the UK Top 40 — with Primary Colours, Skying and Luminous receiving international attention.
V, the London-based indie rock quintet’s fifth full-length album is slated for a September 22. 2017 release through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding upon the sound that won them attention both nationally and internationally. And as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single “Machine,” the band incorporates elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog, as well as a bold and decidedly different direction for the band.
Produced by Jon Emmony, the recently released visuals for “Machine” feature some surreal and nightmarish-looking creatures moving to the song, and as he explains in a lengthy statement, the video is actually “based around the concept of computer simulation. The creatures formed from sections of cut and twisted from insets, crustaceans and bone are arranged in sculptural compositions inspired by artists such as Hieronymus Bosch; finding the surreal within mixed forms and scales. The movement for the creatures is powered through generated simulations — randomised numbers and splines are generated and the position of each creature along these splines are calculated; seemingly without reason but born from the choices of software.
“If left, taken away from an edit, the creatures would continue to exist and their movements would evolve. Simulated hair adapts to changing wind speeds and directions, again manipulated by randomised mathematics. For me this was an exciting way to create digital imagery as having an element of control removed and then decided by a computer seemed fitting with the track. Machines inside machines.”