Kills, Horrors, Magic Wands | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Kills, Horrors, Magic Wands Recommended Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., May 9, 9 p.m. 2009

The Horrors’ rabid garage punk and Victorian dandy-via-Alien Sex Fiend fashion sense didn’t exactly set America on fire—androgynous gothic scarecrows tend to have a hard time of it here—but back home in England that shtick made them bona fide rock stars, so it’s impressive and more than a little strange to see them abandon it on their second album, the new Primary Colours (XL). With assistance from Portishead mastermind Geoff Barrow, producer Craig Silvey, and all-around aesthetic pervert Chris Cunningham—who seems to have become something of a mentor to the band—the Horrors have put aside the Screaming Lord Sutch guitar tantrums and taken up a new sound that filters Krautrock through the druggy delirium of shoegaze. That kind of bold lateral move usually results in something that’s better to talk about than listen to, and indeed, the new album has barely any of the sharp-edged, brilliantly badass bits of pop songwriting that Strange House does. But the weird, chilly washes of sound they’re conjuring now—where the fuzz guitar, primitive beats, and rattling tambourine of their supremely catchy early stuff have been repurposed as pure texture and pattern—are even more addictively intriguing. The Kills headline; the Horrors and the Magic Wands open. —Miles Raymer

Price: $16

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