Horror Head by Sindy is a sweetly odd album born out of a bitterly odd year and I suspect that once 2020-2021 is firmly in our rear-view mirror we will get a clearer understanding on the full effect it had on artists. But, for now, Sindy have provided a set of songs that sound familiar but brilliantly warped. From the album’s woozy overture ‘Experimental Jet Set’ through to the phased pop of final track ‘Sicko’ this is a nine-song odyssey through the mind of someone who has been through the looking glass and come back to report his findings.
Written at home in Stockholm and then recorded at the Ging Ging studio with Jacob Haage it’s hard to play down the warm fuzzies that swirl around the production and allow oddness to blossom in this pop landscape. It’s like having a bath in purple water, backwards film or birds flying upside down; recognisable but ‘other’. On tracks like ‘Phantom Limb’, ‘Real Tennis’, ‘Iscariot’, ‘Hausu’ and ‘Sicko’ crisp acoustic guitar is phased into seasickness and the wonky is mixed in with the tight sound of drums and bass. You can experience feeling of air being sucked out of a room or grain silo reverb whooshing in from nowhere. There are tiny rockpool moments plus mountain top views, but over everything Tom Serner’s half-breathed voice glides from the mid-range to its upper register with warm and an other-worldly quality.
But if you want the core of the album summarised in one track, then the single release ‘Edge Girl’ is it. I described it in my review as “a miniature work of genius, like an intricate ship in a bottle or a galaxy viewed through a microscope”. Put it on repeat and you’ll be heading through the looking glass yourself.
Horror Head is like tuning into a radio station from another dimension and Sindy are another act that I will add to the shrine I have built in my heart to the PNKSLM, a label so cool you could keep your beer in them.
Review by Paul F Cook