The Horrors’ debut, ‘Strange House’, was made on the fly. The five members came together in their late teens, after linking up in Southend and London, and bonding over ’60s garage-psych freak-out music. The first song they wrote, ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’, clocked in at 1 minute 40, its careering energy charged by a battering drum ‘n’ bass rhythm from drummer Coffin Joe, and demented, Birthday Party-esque noize from guitarist Joshua Third. These boys weren’t stuck in a twee ’60s timewarp. They were post-millennial punk incarnate.
After barely a year, The Horrors graced their first NME cover. Inside, the editor hailed them as the new Sex Pistols. Amid the peculiar self-perpetuating compulsion that is British hype, the band unleashed a run of singles, charting The Horrors’ gradual emergence from infancy.
By December ’06, with a variety of producers (Jim Sclavunos from Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds; Nick Zinner from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the band had assembled ‘Strange House’ – “a document of the band as it went along,” says Rhys ‘Spider’ Webb, who at that point played keyboards. One of the final tracks completed, ‘Gil Sleeping’, a throbbing instrumental post-punk groove swathed in strange sonic manipulations, pointed intriguingly elsewhere – an open-ended investigation. However, once the album was rush-released in early ’07. Once the album was rush-released in early ’07, The Horrors’ evolution had to be put on hold as they hit the road, wowing crowds as far-flung as Glastonbury, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, Scandinavia and Japan.