I WAS THERE: The Horrors Treat Sold-Out Brooklyn Show Like a B-Movie Casting Call

Words and Photos by Andrew Parks

The Horrors have a lot of thinking to do. About what, you ask? A simple decision, really: does one of London’s leading young bands continue to play the camp card–eyes popped and arms flailed like depraved fools–or do they drop the artifice for patchy postmodern art, as hinted at on their stellar sophomore album, Primary Colours?

The answer couldn’t have been clearer at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, as the ridiculous, dead-eyed posturing of bassist Rhys Webb (better known as “Spider”) and the “look at me! I’m crazy!” character studies of frontman Faris Rotter came to life, reminding us of a SXSW 2007 set where the latter tossed trash cans and climbed speaker stacks in hopes of stirring buzz-happy blogs and the easily-impressed loins of NME. Which he did. Several times over.

Look, we enjoy being entertained, and would much rather watch a band try too hard than not try at all. It’s just that the Horrors’ stage antics don’t quite fit their icy new direction. And while we don’t want them to start acting as withdrawn and downright bored as, say, Interpol, it’d be nice if Webb and company dialed their well-rehearsed dementia down a bit. Because right now it looks like they spend more time reprising  their cartoon character roles in front of dressing room mirrors than actually practicing.

The Horrors @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 4.4.09:
Mirror’s Image
Three Decades
Do You Remember
I Can’t Control Myself
Scarlet Fields
New Ice Age
Who Can Say
Sea Within a Sea