The Horrors – “Machine” (Singles Going Steady)

The Horrors return in style like a band of nighttime buccaneers intent on crashing the party and laying siege to your hips.

Paul Carr: The Horrors return in style like a band of nighttime buccaneers intent on crashing the party and laying siege to your hips. On this gritty, swaggering electro tune the band mix pounding drums with an insistent synth led churn. It’s the perfect mixture of attitude, bravura, and mettle but matched by an unerring ability to write a tune to match. [9/10]

Tristan Kneschke: “Machine” has more heft to it than most of Luminous and Skying, though the lyrics are as acerbic as Skying’s “I Can See Through You”. The video is a standout, a bizarre CGI journey through the construction of a machine-insect mutant that takes full advantage of the uncanny valley for maximum viewer discomfort. For many, insects are creepy enough. “Machine’s” glitching grotesqueries takes the revulsion to the next level while remaining oddly mesmerizing, though the face of lead singer Faris Badwan at the end somewhat breaks the spell. [7/10]

A Noah Harrison: “Machine” is a rock song, which is pitifully rare in this day and age. It’s got an industrial edge — like something Rob Zombie might come with but scrap because he’s afraid of sounding like the Black Keys. Vivid and grotesque CGI monsters populate the video, which is maybe the most beautiful part of this experience. [3/10]

Chris Ingalls: The Horrors dive into an era where bands like Joy Division and Depeche Mode combine pitch-black, gothic atmosphere with a good — if foreboding — pop song format. The arrangement is a thick stew of guitars and synths rising above a chugging mid-tempo beat. Get on the dance floor and get your mope on. [7/10]

Mike Schiller: Following in the tradition of Love and Rockets or (more recently) She Wants Revenge, the Horrors are showing off a brand of goth ready for mass consumption and rock radio, all slick production, and singable vocal melodies and electronic flourish. It’s a fine sound to strive for and the Horrors are one of the better bands at pulling it off and being taken seriously at it, but as much as “Machine” works in a conceptual sense, it peaks too early and never manages to build into something really interesting. The early ’90s-cutting-edge of the CGI video doesn’t help much, either. [6/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: The Horrors are a band that lives up to their name with the surreal video for “Machine”. As CGI creepy-crawlies morph in the corners, the group lets loose with new wave-inspired rock that takes a lot of its cues from Depeche Mode. It’s the kind of dark and edgy that’s definitely been done before but is serviceably rendered here. [6/10]

Ian Rushbury: Marilyn Manson, Depeche Mode, and Nine Inch Nails duke it out and the result is “Machine”. The angst coming off this is almost tangible, but it works really well – all relentless rhythms, pounding basslines and what once may have been a guitar lick, mesh into a nicely satisfying whole. Gothic rock it’s OK to like? It had to happen sometime. [7/10]

SCORE: 6.43