The Horrors – Lout EP Review

The Horrors new EP ‘Lout’ is one eking industrial grit and furore with as much refreshing tenacity as their debut, but also a dramatic extension of this. Bassist Rhys Webb echoes this sentiment: “It’s the nastiest music we’ve made since Strange House. An intense barrage of industrial noise. A return to the spirit and attitude of our debut LP but blasted into the future.”

This hybrid is far-flung from the more ethereal sounds of previous album ‘V’, a transition exhibited by the industrial pummel of the recently released title track, whose banshee-like, piercing vocals, and caustic guitar/synth shatters your molars as much as their debut single ‘Jack the Ripper’. Elaborating on the process behind ‘Lout’ and the EP as a whole, keyboardist Tom Furse describes it as a “return to a heavier sound but really it’s a million miles away from anything we’ve done.” The primary aim was in maximising the heaviness of the beats, he says; “…everything seemed to fall around that.”

The visceral nature inherent in the Lout EP was something vocalist Faris Badwan says the band felt pulled towards from the start of writing sessions. “Lout is about the relationship between choice and chance, compulsive risk-taking and pushing your luck. As a band, particularly live, we’ve always had an aggressive side and as we began writing new songs it became clear that we were heading in that direction.”

Contrary to ‘V’, which saw the band produce alongside indie and pop superproducer Paul Epworth, The Horrors return to their days of self-production. This resulted in a drastically different recording process, changed even further by the pandemic which, in contrast to many others, became quite beneficial for The Horrors – exemplified by ‘Org’, the second track on the EP. On this, keyboardist Furse explains: “Joe and I having both moved out of London to our respective coastlines meant that the process inherently became more about remote working, which was kinda always my tip anyway. The start of Org was me fucking around with some samples at my home studio, the sounds were so aggressive, I knew the guys would like them. So a lot of that development of the music is us whirring away independently and then coming together when we think we’ve maxed out what we can do alone.” Such a process presents itself on the addictive miasma of Org, which comes across like a tangled, spontaneous but symbiotic mass of writhing, hypnotic electronics. Though largely instrumental, the spiking samples are interjected by Badwan’s aggressive, abstract vocals – truly ‘Horrors’ but also a monumental step forward.

The newly liberated Horrors have been put in grand stead to surge toward their sixth LP, appreciative of each other and focused solely on the creation of new music; Webb describes their state on ‘Lout’ and onwards as “…guns blazing, no holds barred full on Horrors, the way it should always be.”

The ‘Lout’ EP is a brutal and progressive marker – of what Badwan describes as “…the same level of intensity as the 100-miles-an-hour stuff we’ve done in the past but the anger is somehow more channelled. – of a revitalised, reasserted, restlessly mercurial band.

The band have also fuelled a reinvigorated aesthetic into their new sound, collaborating with a new creative team led by Bunny Kinney, including striking artwork, a new merchandise collection, a short film directed by Jordan Hemingway starring beauty executive Isamaya Ffrench and scored by guitarist Joshua Third and keyboardist Tom Furse, as well as press shots by Loverboy designer Charles Jeffrey.

The EP is out March 12th via Wolf Tone/Virgin Music Label & Artist Services. The EP tracks ‘Lout’ and ‘Orb’ will also be released on blood red 7” vinyl, strictly limited to 1500 copies worldwide – pre order HERE.

‘Lout’ EP Tracklisting:


2. Org

3. Whiplash

‘Lout’ Vinyl Release Tracklisting:

Side A – Lout

Side B – Org

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