The Horrors

S/T EP (Stolen Transmission)

Formed barely a year ago, the Horrors have already graced the cover of NME and gotten slagged by not only the British press, but by the U.S. fringe garage gawkers who usually don't know from Klaxons or Kooks. But alas, the Horrors have chosen to troll the usually très Yank graveyard of ghoulish psycho slash 'n' burn trash, à la the Cramps, Pussy Galore, or Cheater Slicks. Admittedly, Horrors howler Faris Badwan does evoke Mark E. Smith as much as the Mad Daddy, and a recent New York City live gig proved they're mainly digging up the Birthday Party for an aural autopsy. But the two best tunes from this debut EP — "Crawdaddy Ramone" and "Sheena is a Parasite" — lash with a '60s-riff rip-apart like the better songs from the, um, Horrors, who were on In the Red Records a couple years ago. And the over-the-top screech recalls recent combos like the Hunches, also on In the Red. Hmm. And while we're at it, now-fab Georgian gutter-psychs, the Black Lips have already covered "Jack the Ripper," which the Horrors do admirably here. Yes indeed, these Horrors are cribbing and posing, but what bunch of 18-year-old Brits doesn't? Grabby gimmicks are a London lad's idea of "organic." And for something that may get pushed to the 'tweens, I'd prefer a ridiculous ruckus like this over Kasabian any day, mate. Eric Davidson

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